Fat Burning Strength and Cardio Circuit

This intermediate/advanced fat burning workout takes you through a variety of cardio and strength training exercises to maximize your calorie burn.  Each circuit includes 3-4 exercises for the hips, glutes, thighs, abs and upper body followed by 3 minutes of high intensity cardio.  Go through each circuit once, for a shorter workout, or twice for a longer, more intense workout.

Precautions

  • Get a doctor's clearance if you have any medical conditions or injuries.
  • If you're a beginner or haven't been exercising consistently for at least 2-3 months, start with this Beginner/Intermediate Circuit.

Equipment Needed

Various weighted dumbbells, a barbell (you can use dumbbells as a substitute), step or bench, exercise ball and a mat.

How To

  • Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up of light cardio (walking in place, etc.)
  • Perform each circuit, one exercise after the other for 1-2 circuits, resting when you need to. 
  • Modify according to your fitness level, but try to use challenging weights when you can.
  • Sip water throughout the workout.  If you get tired, walk in place (don't stop moving)
  • Monitor your intensity and make sure you stay between about Level 4-8.

Circuit 1: Step Ups

Step Ups
Step Ups. Paige Waehner

Stand behind a step or bench wrap a resistance band underneath.  Place the right foot on the step, transfer the weight to the heel and push up, keeping tension on the band. Slowly step back down and repeat for 16 reps.  Switch sides.

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Split Squats

Split Squat
Split Squat. Paige Waehner

Hold a challenging weight and stand about 3 or so feet in front of a step or platform and take the left leg back, resting it on the step.  Bend both knees and lower into a lunge, keeping the front knee behind the toe.  Push through the heel to stand up and repeat for 16 reps.  Switch sides. 

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Plank Knee Press on the Ball

Plank Press on the Ball
Paige Waehner

On your knees, place forearms on the ball.  Straighten the knees and bring the body into a plank position. Hold for 1-2 seconds, lower the knees and repeat for 16 reps.

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3 Minutes of High Intensity Cardio

Woman kickboxing
Getty Images/Matt Dutile

Using the machine or activity of your choice, use the first minute to warm up and then work as hard as you can for 2 minutes. 

Ideas: 3 minutes of one exercise in this Advanced Cardio Blast Workout or this Low Impact Cardio Blast.

Repeat the above circuit or move on to the next circuit.

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Circuit 2: Pushups on the Ball

Ball Pushup
Ball Pushup. Paige Waehner

Get into pushup position with the ball under the shins or toes (harder).  Keep the abs in and back straight as you bend the elbows and lower into a pushup.  Squeeze the chest to push back up and repeat for 16 reps.

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Squat with Overhead Press

Squat Press
Paige Waehner

Holding weights just over the shoulders, lower into a squat keeping the knees behind the toes.  Push through the heels to stand back up while pushing the weights over the head.  Repeat for 16 reps. 

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Ball Crunches

Ball Crunch
Paige Waehner

Position the ball under the mid back and place the hands behind the head or across the chest.  Squeeze the abs and lift the shoulder blades off the ball into a crunch.  Lower and repeat for 16 reps.

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3-Minute High Intensity Cardio

Squat Jump
Paige Waehner


You can do the same exercise you did in the previous circuit or try a different activity or machine.

Use the first minute to warm up and then work as hard as you can for 2 minutes. 

Ideas: 3 minutes of one exercise shown in this Advanced Cardio Blast Workout or this Low Impact Cardio Blast.

Repeat the above circuit or move on to the next circuit

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Circuit 3: Bent Knee Deadlifts

Bent Knee Deadlift
Paige Waehner

Place heavy weights on the floor in front of you.  Squat down, keeping the abs in and the knees behind the toes and pick up the weights as you stand up.  Squat back down to put the weights back on the floor and stand up.  Repeat for 16 reps. 

Take the feet wide if this is too challenging and make sure you use your legs and not your back.

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Barbell Rows

Barbell Row
Paige Waehner

Hold a heavy barbell or dumbbells and tip forward to about 45 degrees, abs in and back straight.  Bend the elbows and pull the weight in towards the bellybutton, squeezing the back.  Lower and repeat for 16 reps.

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Ball Pikes

Ball Pike
Paige Waehner

Get into a pushup position with the ball under the shins.  Engage the abs and lift the hips towards the ceiling, keeping the legs straight and ending in a pike position.  Return to start and repeat for 10 reps.

3-Minute High Intensity Cardio

Burpee
Paige Waehner

You can do the same exercise you did in the previous circuit or try a different activity or machine.

Use the first minute to warm up and then work as hard as you can for 2 minutes. 

Ideas:  3 minutes of one exercise shown in this Step By Step Cardio Exercises or this Low Impact Cardio Blast.

Repeat the above circuit or move on to the next circuit

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Circuit 4: Incline Biceps Curls

Incline Biceps Curls
Paige Waehner

Sit on a ball and roll forward until you're at an incline.  Curl the weights up towards the shoulders and lower, repeating for 16 reps. 

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Triceps Dips

Dips
Paige Waehner

Sit on a chair or bench with hands next to the hips.  Lift up and take the hips forward, just in front of the bench.  Bend the elbows and lower down until elbows are about 90 degrees.  Squeeze the triceps to push back up and repeat for 16 reps.

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Knee Tucks

Knee Tucks on the Ball
Paige Waehner

Get into a pushup position with the ball under the shins.  Engage the abs and roll the ball in, bending the knees towards the chest as you squeeze the abs.  Return to start and repeat for 16 reps.

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Bonus! 3-Minute High Intensity Cardio

Jumping Jacks
Paige Waehner

This is your bonus cardio if you're up for it.  Try 3 minutes of high intensity cardio, using the first minute to warm up and the last 2 minutes to work as hard as you can.

Repeat this circuit or move on to a cool down and stretch.

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