pbpushup2Which would you rather do? Listen to the same song over and over again or take several songs and mix them up. In the fitness world, taking several exercises and mixing them up, one after the other is called circuit training. It is a very effective way to exercise and it’s more fun because you are constantly changing exercises and movements. While one muscle group works the others rest until they get their turn again. This style workout maximizes rest time between sets which increases your body’s output on each set for a more effective workout.

A very easy and fun way to make you own circuit routine is to think, “Push, Pull, Plyo”. This means one push exercise like push-ups or dips, followed by a pull exercise like pull ups or body-weight rows and finally a plyometric exercise like jumping jacks, squat thrusts or jumping rope. Do as many repetitions as you can until you think you will give out in the next couple repetitions. You don’t even have to keep track of how many you do, just move on to the next exercise and let those muscles take a nice break until the next circuit.

For a basic circuit workout you should go through each phase 2-4 times. That’s “Push, Pull, Plyo“, then repeat 2-4 times and you never have to do the same exercise twice! Even if you repeat one, you always have the option of changing your grip or the angle of resistance to work keep your body guessing. You can do push-ups on the ground or you can raise your feet on a chair to focus on your upper chest and shoulders. Pull-ups can be done with a wide grip or narrow.

If you are a modest fitness enthusiast you probably already have all the equipment you need to build your own custom circuit routine, so dust off all your old gear and get to work. Do you have a pull up bar, a wall, the floor, resistance bands? Get creative. If you don’t have this stuff, don’t worry you don’t need much. Just a few of the basics will go a long way like a pull up bar or some push up stands. If you don’t already have them, it’s a small hurdle because you can get these items for very little cash.