Get in Shape for Summer With this High Intensity Circuit Workout
Slim down for summer, get your body beach ready, buff up for bikini season, get fit before Fourth of July; with summer just around the corner all of these phrases are relevant right about now, but let’s be honest, they’re also kind of obnoxious, too.
Getting in shape for summertime is a perfectly fine goal, but it's only a short-term one. It’s a great starting point, but what would make it even better is if it were the beginning of a new exercise habit; one you intend to hold onto for life— not only for the sake of staying fit, but for the sake of your overall health too.
The being said, because we know just how important fitness is to your overall health and wellbeing, and because this time of year is a popular time for people to think about losing weight, several weeks back we got in touch with a panel of personal trainers in order to compile a list of their top tips for getting in shape for summer fast.
Among other tips and tricks, almost every trainer we talked to highly recommended high intensity interval training as the best type of exercise for those who want to see the quickest results. After all, there’s no shortcut to getting great results. You can’t get in shape without working up a sweat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a few things to help speed up the process. Like, adding HIIT workouts like the one below to your regular exercise routine.
This high intensity circuit workout combines strength training and cardio to maximize calorie-burn and build muscle. (FYI: Building muscle is a good thing for those with weight loss goals. Because muscle is metabolically active tissue that requires your body to expend energy in order to maintain its mass, more muscle means more work for your metabolism.)
Before you get started, here are a few things you’ll need.
- A box, like an aerobics step from the gym or a very study chair or bench to jump on, the height can vary based on your athletic ability but beginners should start with a step or box at about ankle height or a little bit higher. (The taller the box, the more challenging the exercise will be. The more you challenge yourself, the more calories you will burn. But don't forget to also keep safety in mind.)
- A pair of dumbbells heavy enough to sufficiently challenge you for a set of 12 bicep curls. (Challenging means your arms are nearly unable to complete the last one or two reps. The same applies for the shoulder press exercise.)
- A kettlebell for upright rows, but if you don't have one you can use a dumbbell for this exercise too.
- Enough space to perform everyone's favorite exercise, burpees!
What To do: Perform each exercise for the prescribed number of repetitions, leave no rest between exercises. Repeat the circuit three or four times with 1 minute rest between circuits. (Click each exercise for a video demonstration.)
20 Box Jumps
12 Dumbbell Bicep Curls
40 Lateral Side Jumps (Make this exercise more challenging by jumping over an elevated surface.)
20 Sumo Squats + Upright Kettlebell Row
12 Dumbbell Shoulder Press
30 seconds Mountain Climbers
When you’re finished, leave a comment below and let us know what you thought! For the best results, perform this workout (or one like it— see our other workout links below) on three non-consecutive days each week. (Make sure you give your body time to recover between workouts!) On in between days, perform 30-40 minutes of light exercise like yoga, swimming or easy-paced running. (Example 5-day workout shedule: Monday, Wednesdy and Friday do this workout. Tuesday and Thursday light recovery workout.)
Looking for more ways to exercise? Check out some of our other workouts below: