Interval Circuits and Breaking the Plateau

Feeling stuck in your routine? Hitting a plateau in your fitness goals or weight loss? Needing a jump start? Two words: Interval. Circuits.

Shocking your body is necessary sometimes, especially when the workouts that used to have you dying and out of breath now feel like a lazy walk in the park. Interval circuits are not for the faint of heart, and should definitely be moderated if you’re new to working out or easing back in after a long hiatus.  Warnings out of the way, interval circuits should have you dripping sweat, drenches, and if you really gave it your all hopefully you threw up in your mouth a little (not kidding).

Everyone has their own way of creating interval circuits and may have different names for this particular type of workout, but the results are the same. Shock the body, push yourself harder than normal, get results. Similar to HIIT (high intensity training) in the sense that you are pushing your body through intense cardio boosting routines followed by something else, the DIFFERENCE is that where HIIT allows for a rest period or a period of less intense activity, these interval circuits are no rest, no break. Just push push push. You can mix in tons of exercises in the middle of your routines, but today’s post will be more of an upper body blaster with some core thrown in.  Remember that you can switch out sprints on the treadmill if you do not have a spin bike or if the bike just isn’t your jam. Just be aware that you should REALLY be pushing yourself and ideally out of breath when your sprint times are up. Remember to click the link on the name of the exercise for vids on how to do each of these exercises and remember, FORM IS EVERYTHING. If your form is suffering, modify the number of reps you are doing until you can complete all with perfect form.

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. After you have warmed up, start with a 3 minute sprint session  or spin. If you are spinning, stand the entire time. Watch your posture, and lower resistance if you need to so that you can spin faster. Ideally you want to be around 90 – 120 rpm
  2. After those three minutes, jump DIRECTLY into this circuit. NO REST!
  3. BALL SQUATS W/ THROW x 20 (do the kind on the video that start at 1:45.)
  4. WALK OUT W/ INCREASING PUSHUP x 10 (start with 1 pushup, then 2 and so on until you reach 10 or failure**, which ever point comes first. If you reach failure before ten, finish your walkouts until you hit ten walkouts)
  5. KNEE PUSHUPS TO FAILURE (start these immediately after the walkouts and continue until you literally can not lift your body back up off the ground)
  6. FLOOR DYNAMIC PRONE COBRA x 20 (this is as close to rest as you are going to get. Focus on pulling those shoulders back and squeeeeezing your glutes)
  7. SWIMMERS x 1 minute
  8. Now, GET BACK ON THE BIKE! Spin or sprint at MAXIMUM output for 2 minutes, and then jump right back into this circuit.
  9. Complete the entire circuit 4 times, puke, smile. You’re done!

**”To failure” means the point where your muscle will literally not lift you or do what it is supposed to do anymore, literally muscle failure.




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