You’ve got things to do and places to be…when you’ve got limited time available to train, you have to make FULL use of every single second you have available in your workout…
And that means circuit training…
And that means not your “normal” circuit training, either!
I’ve got a circuit for you that uses heavy weight, low reps, and covers all your major bodyparts in a simple, 3 exercise circuit. You’ll get NO rest during the entire time period (I recommend at least 15 minutes), which will kick your metabolism into overdrive VERY quickly and help you burn fat FAST.
Plus, as a bonus, you’re going to get an AMAZING core workout due to the single-dumbell work you’ll be doing. Training unilaterally (a fancy way of saying one arm at a time) forces the core to engage strongly to stabilize the torso, and you’ll be doing it on every single set you do.
You might not notice this core effect so much if you’re doing high rep, light weight circuit training, so THIS circuit is done using 3 reps per side per exercise, using a moderately heavy dumbell (I’m using a 105 lb dumbell in the demo).
The first exercise you’re going to do is the One Arm Dumbell Floor Press. This one is a GREAT core exercise and that one that’s going to really light up your midsection in addition to your chest, shoulders and triceps. This is probably going to be weakest exercise of the three, so use a weight that you can handle specifically on this one.
Start with the dumbell on the floor then sit with your legs on either side of the dumbell. Reach forward and grab it with hands then set it on your thigh. Lay back on the floor and set your left upper arm flat on the floor, taking ALL the tension off the chest. You’re basically balacing the dumbell with your forearm at this point. Your left leg should be shifted out a bit wide to the side to help stabilize for the press (you’ll feel this when you go to start the press).
Now press up. You’ll feel this a fair bit in the triceps, just fyi. And it’ll hit your lower abdominal area/lower obliques, in addition to the transversus (the deep muscles of the core).
Do 3 reps on the left arm then set the dumbell on your chest and switch hands. Do the press on the other side now, being sure to set your same-side leg out wide to stabilize. Press up for 3 reps. To set it on the ground, grab it with both hands then roll to the side and set it on the floor.
Now stand up and do a one-arm dumbell row with the dumbell. I recommend using the same arm to start each exercise here, to give it maximum rest, e.g. if you started the press with your left arm, start the row with your left arm, too. You can brace your non-working arm on your knee to solidify your body for the exercise. This single arm row hits the rotational-stability aspect of the core as well.
Do 3 reps then switch to the other arm.
Next, set the weight on the floor and go straight into the next exercise, One Dumbell Split Squats. Hold the dumbell in your left hand and lead with your right leg, so the dumbell is in front of your back leg.
Do 3 reps then repeat on the other side for 3 reps.
Holding the dumbell in one hand as you do the split squat also puts rotational-stability tension on the core (see why this gives you GREAT core training, too)…everything you do in this circuit involves core stability with fairly heavy weight.
Now, with NO rest, go right back into the One Dumbell Floor Press.
And repeat for 15 minutes total training time.
You can do shorter or longer with this circuit, depending on the time you have available to you. I found 15 minutes to be a good range.
This is simple, straightforward training that will hit every major part of your body, and the secondary ones that contribute to these 3 big movements. Targeting these big “hot zones” with this much training volume will get your metabolism ROARING.
It’s going to build strength and muscle mass along with your cardio capacity and has tremendous core-training benefits (which you will absolutely feel for the next few days after doing this!). Your core gets worked with all the movements but the rest of your bodyparts get selective rest as you work each side of your body with the different movements.
And all you need is a single dumbell and a patch of floor space to do it!
This workout can be done anytime you like, especially if you just need to do a fast workout covering all your bodyparts.
Nick Nilsson is known in the fitness industry as the “Mad Scientist of Muscle,” and for good reason! For more than 28 years, Nick has been creating unique, new exercises and training techniques and putting together some of the most innovative muscle-building and fat-loss programs available anywhere.