Alex Silver-Fagan's Fast-And-Dirty Circuit Workout

This six-move circuit will rev your motor while leaving no muscle group untouched. You'll sweat, get stronger, and have fun doing it. This is how full-body training should feel!

Women start their path to fitness for all kinds of reasons—sometimes the wrong ones—but often discover their true motivation later in the journey. With every weight lifted, crunch completed, and rep logged, they discover a growing sense of accomplishment and self-worth. And this confidence comes in different forms. Yes, it's cool to be able to lift 200 pounds off the ground—and I like to do it—but it's also cool to jump around, sweat, and just feel good. There's room for all of this and more.

I'm Alex Silver-Fagan. I'm a Cellucor and Bodybuilding.com athlete, a personal trainer, and a group fitness instructor at CityRow in New York City. I've competed in the past, which I think is a good goal, but by no means does it equal living a fit lifestyle. Today, I do a little of everything: bodybuilding, CrossFit, yoga, running, powerlifting, and circuit training.

My fast-and-dirty circuit is how I think circuits should be: quick and effective. This workout gets your heart rate up and can be either the cardio portion of a heavy lifting day, or stand alone as a total-body fat-burning workout. You'll work in different planes of motion while also increasing your metabolism.

Fast & Dirty Circuit Workout Alex Silver-Fagan
Watch the video - 8:51



This circuit comprises 3-4 rounds of six total-body complex movements. It's going to be fast: 20-25 minutes with minimal rest. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a bench for your feet, and a good attitude.

1

Burpee with side-to-side shuffle

Burpee with side-to-side shuffle

You're going to kick this workout off with one of the best—I didn't say most fun!—movements: the burpee. Drop down to the ground, bring your chest to the floor, and pop back up. Make sure to stay nice and low so that you can go straight into the side-to-side shuffle.

Moving laterally isn't something most people do in their day-to-day life, but that's exactly why you need it in your training. Once you complete your side shuffle, drop down and do another burpee. That's rep 2. Continue this metabolic movement until you've completed 8 reps.

2

Split squat with shoulder press

Split squat with shoulder press

Now it's time to pick up some dumbbells. Pick up one weight with your right hand and stand in a split-squat stance with your left foot in front and your right leg behind. For this primarily lower-body movement, make sure to drive through your front heel, working the glute, keeping your torso straight and aligned and your core tight. Lunge down and explode with the weight as you come up. Switch sides, placing the weight in your left hand with your right foot forward and left foot back.

Make sure that you have a wide-enough base of support that your body moves down vertically when you lunge, not wavering front and back. Your knee should not go over your toe.

As an added bonus, pressing a weight overhead means you're engaging your abs, too. This is a true full-body movement!

3

Decline push-up with cross climber

Decline push-up with cross climber

So you think you're good at push-ups? Let's put it to the test. Place your feet on a bench or a step and get into a decline push-up position. Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists. Bring one knee to your opposite elbow. Do this on both sides for one complete rep.

With this movement, you'll be working your entire upper body while hitting your abdominals and obliques. Just remember to really drive your knee all the way to your triceps so you get a full crunch and total engagement.


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4

Dumbbell front squat to rotational press

Dumbbell front squat to rotational press

Squatting is one of the most basic, primal movements, and it belongs in every workout. For this squat variation, place both weights in front of your chest and keep your feet underneath your hips. You don't need a super-wide stance; just turn your toes out slightly. Sit all the way back into a squat, bringing your butt all the way down.

As you come up, press and rotate to one side. Make sure to come on to your toes as you rotate to really achieve full extension of your entire body.

5

Renegade row

Renegade row

Renegade rows are a tough movement—a lot tougher than they might look at first glance. Even I don't look forward to writing them into my own workout. But I recognize this dread as a sign that I should do renegade rows—and so should you.

Keeping your hips steady, get in a plank position. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and the weights directly underneath. Make sure you're not leaning back too far; you want to be right on top of the weights and maintain a wide, supportive stance. Bring one weight up to your chest in a row, and then bring it back down.

A great cue is to think of bringing your elbow, not your wrist, up to the sky. Keep your hips square like two headlights pointed at the ground, and squeeze your glutes to help keep your core firing and lower body engaged.

A few reps in, you'll discover that this is a movement that works everything. See a trend developing here?

6

Overhead reach with toe-tap leg extension

Overhead reach with toe-tap leg extension

All of the previous exercises in this circuit were core-incorporating movements. This is a core-focused movement. You'll know the difference a few reps in, I promise.

Sit on the ground and hold the weight horizontally between your hands. Keep your arms extended upward, and roll down until your upper back touches the floor and you tap the weight behind your head. Before you come back up, bring your left leg up and flex your foot. Reach for that toe with the weight 8 times. Then, switch sides.

Make sure you're not bending your arms too much and that you are getting that full reach. If you have limited shoulder mobility and need to modify the movement, bring the weight to your chest and then roll up. I want you to find what works for you. After all, you've got at least another couple of rounds to go!

Alex Silver Fagan's Fast-and-Dirty Circuit
Perform 3-4 rounds with as little rest as possible between movements.
1
Burpee with side-to-side shuffle Burpee with side-to-side shuffle
Split squat with shoulder press Split squat with shoulder press
Decline push-up with cross climber Decline push-up with cross climber
Dumbbell front squat to rotational press Dumbbell front squat to rotational press

Renegade row

8 reps per arm
Renegade row Renegade row
Overhead reach with toe-tap leg extension Overhead reach with toe-tap leg extension


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