3 Circuits to Take the Place of Running

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Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise.

It is easy to just step outside and go for a run. Gym memberships that provide treadmills can be as low as $10 a month.

Despite those reasons, I have never seen anything with such a division of opinions.

There are some people that love running and those that cannot stand it.

Some people run because they think they are supposed to even though they do not like it.

Running is not a simple enough topic to make blanket statements about.

For starters you can perform sprints. Sprints are short in duration and are very high intensity. They also require more rest time in between each.


Sprints may not be for everyone since they are high impact and too advanced for some. Typical sprints last 10-15 seconds.

To keep it simple the next type of running is middle distance. These can be a valuable tool for a lot of people.

This type of running is less intense, but lasts 30- ~120 seconds. Less rest time is needed to recover from bouts of this type of running.

Last we have long distance cardio. This can last 5 minutes to hours. This is the one that most people perform, attempting to run a certain number of miles consecutively.

Minimal rest time is needed for this type of training.

Cardio seems to be super popular but also a heated topic when it comes to exercise. People are always trying to defend it or bash it.

Long slow distance training has a great emphasis in America because the leading research and organizations have more information about it.

The American College of Sports Medicine established how much aerobic training should be done to assist with blood pressure, cardiac output, and respiration.

There are not guidelines like this for other types of training.

Obviously Americans are not among the healthiest in the world. Most would benefit from long slow distance training, because it would provide the stimulus that they do not have.

When it comes to fat loss for people that may not be obese but want to transform their body, long slow distance is not the best strategy.

Energy system development for fat loss can be best accomplished by use of resistance training means.

Stringing together resistance exercises can make for some extremely difficult circuits that will not only provide fat loss, but also increase lean muscle mass.

The increase in lean muscle mass does not occur with traditional cardio. This helps provide a lean, strong look.

Circuit #1

10 Front Squats- this should be close to a 10RM, it needs to be challenging.

10 Lateral Bounds (5 each leg)
10 Kettlebell Swings

Repeat until 10 minutes is up.

This is a good choice for those that have experience front squatting and kettlebell swinging. This circuit may not be challenging enough if someone is not proficient in the lifts.

For those that want to tackle this, shoot for 6 rounds or so.

Circuit #2

8 Single Arm KB Swings, each arm

OH Carry 15 yards, switch arms on the way back
8 Single Arm Overhead Presses, each arm
OH Carry 15 yards, switch arms on the way back
8 Single Arm Rows, each arm
OH Carry 15 yards, switch arms on the way back

Repeat for 3 sets.

This is an upper body challenge. The shoulders will be doing a lot of work in this circuit.

SA carry

Circuit #3

10 Deadlifts (choose a favorite variation)

Sled Push or Plate Push (push a plate on the ground) for 15 yards and back
Sprint 15 yards and back

Repeat for 3 sets.

plate push

The sled/plate push is very hard on the quads and deadlifts really hammer on the glutes. This circuit will use the biggest muscles in the body to burn a ton of calories during the workout and even more after.

These workouts would fit best at the end of the workout after performing traditional strength work. If no strength work is on the books for that day, then do a good warm up and make these the workout.

If you are not interested in the long distance running mode of exercise, energy system development with resistance training is a must.

You will lose more fat, build more muscle, and save time at the gym.