Circuit Training Workout for Beginners

women working out in gym with text that reads Circuit Training Workout for Beginners

Are you new to working out and have no idea where to begin? Or, do you find yourself working out and not seeing the results? Muscles like to be used in a variety of ways to build bulk and flexibility. A workout routine that includes a variety of different exercises is a much better way to tone and strengthen your entire body. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to an effective circuit training workout for beginners.

women working out in gym with text that reads Circuit Training Workout for Beginners

A circuit training workout begins with a cardio warmup followed by five sets of strength exercises for a well-rounded, full-body routine.

For anyone new to circuit training, it’s worth mentioning that they tend to be really tough.  Even if you have a regular workout routine with plenty of cardio and weights, the switch to a workout with so little rest is often a huge challenge. Most will have to substantially decrease the amount of weight used for the exercises since you’ll reach exhaustion much faster without rest periods. This is totally normal, so don’t feel like it’s a sign of weakness.

To begin, start with a short cardio warm-up.  After you’re good and warm, do the following five exercises with 30 to 45 seconds of rest between each exercise and 30 seconds of rest between each set.

Cardio Warm-Up

Fitness Trainers, such as Steve Kamb, recommend warming up for at least 2 minutes before beginning a circuit-training workout.  To get your heart pumping and your muscles loosened up, consider low-impact jumping jacks or running in place.  


Yes, there’s a reason this is a classic. The push-up is a great exercise for your arms, chest, and core.  For your first session try to shoot for 20-30 consecutive pushups.


Feel the burn!  I remember after my first round of squats I was walking funny for about a week afterward.  However, don’t be alarmed as this is an exercise you won’t want to miss.

To perform a proper squat, place both legs on the resistance band and pull the band up to your shoulders.  Now sit back on your heels and bend like you are sitting in a chair. As you come back up, tighten your glutes to get the most from this exercise.  Repeat for 60 to 90 seconds.  Can you do a 1-minute squat?

Jump Rope

Next, for endurance, try jump roping for one minute.  If you don’t own a jump rope, simply jump with both feet together about an inch or so off the floor.  This will get your heart pumping!

Single-Leg Kickbacks

A great exercise for anyone looking to firm up their glute muscles.  However, be warned that you will need a resistance band for this exercise.

Start by placing both hands and feet on the ground in a four-point position.  Place the resistance band around your right leg and hold it with your right hand. Now kick your right leg back and up until fully extended.  Bring your right leg back to where your knee is bent without placing it back on the floor. Repeat this for 30 seconds and then switch to the other leg.


If there’s one exercise that I love to hate and hate to love, it’s this one.  A plank is a simple, effective bodyweight exercise that requires no equipment and can be performed just about anywhere.

To perform a standard plank, place your hands directly under your shoulders like you’re about to do a push-up.  Now ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body.  Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands.  Your head should be in line with your back.  Now, try to hold that position as long as possible.  I lasted about 27 seconds my first time.

woman lifting dumbbells


How did this circuit training workout turn out for you?  Don’t try to shoot for doing a circuit workout every day.  You will burn out quickly.  However, the more you condition your body each week the more results you will see.  If you’re looking for new workouts to try, I encourage you to read about this.

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