Fitting in my lifts with circuit training

Back in September, I wrote about reducing my lifting training to 4 45-minute sessions. Well, as is often the case, with the holidays approaching, my time is no more my own than it was earlier in the fall. It’s ok, though, even with my shortened workouts, I’m still making progress, and to paraphrase Greg Nuckols, progress is a beautiful thing!

However, I don’t enjoy doing precisely the same exercises month after month, so the latest abbreviated workouts have become full-body lifting circuits–I do a complex movement like a squat, then, without taking a long break, two or three accessory movements. When time is more flexible, I will stretch things out, especially on deadlift day because I love being fully in my body and focusing on the deadlift for a while. But, when I don’t have that luxury, it’s nice to know that I can still get everything done.

Like last time, before I share my current programming, I want to reiterate I’m not a personal trainer, just a lifting nerd. YMMV, and don’t do stupid shit that might hurt yourself, especially if you’re new to lifting weights or going to the gym. Not to say that lifting is inherently dangerous, but our egos can push us to do dumb things in the hopes that it will make us look less new, when instead it makes us look more ignorant.(1) Anyway, this is what my training looks like this month, and likely will carry me into the new year, when hopefully I can return to longer training bouts. But even if not, it’s nice to know I can get some meaningful training done, consistently, when time is short.

Squat circuit:
Squat, 1×8-10, 1×5-7, 2-3×2-4
Incline dumbbell bench, 3×8-12, 1×15-20
Chest supported dumbbell row, 3×8-12, 1×15-20

Bench circuit:
Barbell bench press, 1×10-15, 1×7-9, 3×3-5
Reverse fly, 3×8-12, 1×15-20
Weighted glute bridge, 3×10-20
Leg lifts, 3xAMRAP

Deadlift circuit:
Sumo deadlift, 1×8-12, 1×5-7, 2-3×2-4
Skullcrusher, 4×8-15
Seated biceps curl, 4×8-15(2)

Overhead press circuit:
Barbell overhead press, 1×8-12, 1×5-7, 2-3×2-4
Seated wide-grip pulldown, 3×8-12, 1×15-20
Cable hamstring curl, 3×8-12, 1×15-20

(1) No idea where this mini-rant came from, but hey, I’m not wrong, so it’s gonna stay there.

(2) When I have time, it is my preference to delay the biceps curls until after I’ve done all my deadlifts, since sometimes I experience some biceps aggravation from gripping a heavy bar. However, when time is short, I just let my biceps work stay further from failure to reduce the discomfort. I figure some stimulus is better than nothing.

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