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Circuit Training Workouts - Overload Circuits

Updated on September 1, 2012

The following two circuits are overload circuits, which put simply means you overload one particular muscle group. This is opposed to exercising one muscle group directly after the other.

They are tough circuits and designed for people who are used to training so if you need something more suited for a beginner check out the full body workouts for beginners.

To complete these workout routines requires very little equipment making it possible to do in the house. You will need a floor mat (or thick blanket) and an exercise step (a stair will do for most of the exercises).

Details of Workout

There are two overload circuits detailed below, one for abs with upper body and one for abs and lower body. You could either complete these as two separate circuits each of which should take approx 20/30 mins or add them together for a mega workout lasting nearly an hour.

It is your choice how many reps you complete of each exercise, this will really depend on your fitness level, select to do 5, 10, 15 or 20, and then try to keep it to that number of reps throughout. However, if you find your form is decreasing then drop to a smaller number of reps.

There are four sets, two for each circuit, each set is aimed at a particular muscle group, each set contains four exercises. Complete all four exercises in a set one after the other without stopping (except to change positions ). Once you have completed a set rest for 2 mins (or as long as it takes to get your breath back and settle your heart rate) – if you don’t feel it is necessary to stop completely you can jog up and down you hall or on the spot while you recover.

You have a choice on how to complete the workout, either complete 3 rounds of the workout or exercise for a predetermined amount of time. If you time yourself record how many rounds you managed and then try to beat that next time.

Note: if there are some exercises you don't like then feel free to replace any of the exercises with ones you prefer as long as it is targeting the same muscle group.

Abs and Upper Body

Set 1: Abs

  1. V-sits
  2. Cross overs (1 complete rep involves both legs)
  3. Crunches
  4. Reverse Crunches

Set 2: Upper Body

  1. Press Ups
  2. Walk Aways
  3. Tricep Dips
  4. Sniffers

Have you done an overload circuit before?

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Abs and Lower Body

Set 3: Lower Body

  1. Burpees
  2. Astride Jumps (if you don’t have a step do reverse lunges)
  3. Step ups (these can be done on the stairs if you don't have a step)
  4. Squat Jumps

Set 4: Abs

  1. Toe Taps (1 complete rep involves touching both sides)
  2. Left Side Plank to Pyramid
  3. Right Side Plank to Pyramid
  4. Sit Up and Twist at Top


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    • robes profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the list! I love incorporating workouts like this to my time at the gym.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      These definitely look hard work!

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      I have done these kinds of workouts before and my body is groaning at the thought of doing them again yet, after you have done them, you feel amazing!


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