Circuit Training For Women!

So you want to train simple? Have you been looking for a solution to achieving your over-all goals, meaning well being, weight-loss, fitness and whatever your heart desires? Find what you've been looking for here.

So you want to train simple? Have you been looking for a solution to achieving your over-all goals, meaning well being, weight-loss, fitness and whatever your heart desires? Happiness is Free, and it's easier than you think! Why is it that simple enters the mind and goes right back out as not possible?

Why do most of us think; if it's not going to be hard, it will not work? When most people think of the circuit system of resistance training, they envision going through a series of extremely light exercises, typically on machines. Most people do not realize the unlimited benefits that these types of exercises can open up in a person's life, typically, in an ever changing world of time. Yes, time seems to be a factor we all face when asked, "What seems to stop us from reaching our goals?"

Let me first start by giving you my own idea of ultimate happiness, or ask you a question you might put a moment of thought into. You see, I am a motivational speaker, so I am always trying to help others seek that which it is they are most looking to find within themselves. I know it might sound a little deep, but that's OK! I know this is what it takes sometimes for human beings to get out of the way of themselves. "That which everyone of us is looking for in this world is exactly the same thing. Every being, even the animal, is looking for it. And what is it that we are all looking for? Happiness with no sorrow! A continuous state of happiness with no taint whatsoever of sorrow.

So if this is the goal, why is it the goal? Because imperturbable happiness is our very basic nature. This is the real natural state, before we encumber it with limitations. So, we that we got that out of the way. What is the primary concern of women? How do I control body fat? Fat is a very tenacious opponent, and a woman's body is designed to store body fat more efficiently then a man's. If fat is a number one concern, why do most training programs only address muscle building? The reason is because they were designed by men. I am not faulting men's programs. I am just saying that there almost nothing in common between the goals of a man and the goals of a woman when it comes to achieving the ideal shape.

Woman want fully-toned muscle, low over-all body fat, a small waist, and control over the female tendency to store fat in the hips and thighs. I am once again back to the word SIMPLE! Simplicity is the key to setting a productive circuit. This is true for all levels of fitness. Having too many exercises in a circuit is counter productive. Beginners are often guilty of this. They read muscle magazines and make a list of all the exercises they decide are useful. Since almost every exercise is useful, their lists are long, very long. More is better, right? After a dozen workouts or fewer, they give up because they are not making any progress.

What exactly is circuit training? Circuit training refers to a method of exercising in which the individual completes one set of one exercise and then moves quickly on to the next exercise with almost no rest. This type of training offers many advantages. I believe it is the optimal program for women in reference to resistance for building muscle and aerobic conditioning for losing fat with minimal risk of injury or overtraining.

Now, let me share my own version for optimal results for women, based on my own life's experience. I have fought my own lifetime battle to find happiness and success in relation to the body and have won! I would like to share the ingredients to my recipe and look forward to bringing you a continued series on how to maintain the shape you want, for life.

The System

Doesn't it make more sense for a women's routine to focus on the lower body? In addition to providing tone for these muscles, working the larger muscles of the lower body also burns calories at a faster rate then working the small muscles of, say the triceps. This system also involves applying maximum frequency to the parts you want the smallest. This is a reason also used when weightlifters perform abdominal exercises daily, but allow 2-3 days rest between other body parts. The abdominals become leaner, while rested parts grow.

This system replaces isolation movements with compound movements, which place less stress on the ligaments and tendons, allowing the exerciser to perform them more frequently without risk of injury.

As with any exercise routine, the best is one individually tailored to a person's specific needs. In general, the system would work the upper and lower body 5 times a week with more concentration on the lower body.

The objective is to keep training the legs and hips, to actually overtrain the legs and hips, in order to achieve the female proportions most women desire. This is done primarily by using your own body weight. Why? Because your legs are composed of large, powerful muscles that burn more calories when they work, along with keeping blood circulation flowing, the extra effort raises your basal temperature causing your body to burn additional calories after the workout.

First choose a few exercises per workout and put full energy into improving these; once progress is achieved, slowly add in more. Confidence is good, but just like any other positive attribute; it too can become a negative factor. The truth is that patience is truly a virtue in all forms of life. Focus on today, by giving yourself love and confidence. You will be surprised with the results!

Getting Started

What is needed is a way to keep the concentration of work on the lower body while performing exercise that can be incrementally increased to build muscle tone. The lunge is the movement that meets all those requirements. It is unquestionably the best lower body exercise a woman can perform. It recruits maximum muscle fibers and works nearly every major muscle group in the lower body. It is safe for joints (even people with knee injuries can use it). I have had a knee injury for over a year and noticed a change in strength due to the varied movements. It burns maximum calories for expended energy. It promotes lean muscle tone and really works!

Here's a sample routine that can be varied depending on the individual. Remember with every routine the body eventually adapts. So create variety and most of all have fun!

I always choose 5 lower body movements to two upper body compound movements. But, beginners should choose 3 lunging exercises; intermediate should choose 4 and advanced 5. Example: Once you have decided on the 3 lower body movements (or the number of exercises for your level), now determine the amount of repetitions per set using the table below.

Body type: Weight Goal: Body fat Goal: Repetitions:
Thin at goal weight +/- 2-3% 8-10 reps
Average lose 5-9 lbs. decrease 4-8% 10-12 reps
Pudgy lose 10-19 lbs. decrease 9-14% 12-15 reps
Overweight lose 20+ lbs. decrease 15+% 20-30 reps

Rules of lunging:

  • Always keep your head up, shoulders back, chest out and back straight.
  • Never allow the knee to touch the floor
  • Stay in line: you're striding thigh and knee should always line up with your foot.

Here are my favorite movements:

Front Lunge

Begin with your feet 6-8 inches apart, torso erect. Take a large step forward. Lower your hips and allow your trailing knee to lower to a point just before it touches the floor. Keep your head up and torso erect. Push off your forward leg to return to start, then repeat for the opposite leg. A complete lunge for the right leg, then the left leg constitutes 1 rep.

Click To Enlarge.
Front Lunge

Reverse Lunge

Begin with your feet 6-8 inches apart, torso erect. Take a slow controlled step backward with one leg, lowering your hips so that your forward thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Your knee should be positioned directly over your ankle and foot. Your front foot should be pointed straight ahead, and you're trailing knee extended to stretch your hip flexor muscles. The exertion phase of the exercise occurs when you push off your rear foot to return to the starting position in one fluid motion.

Click To Enlarge.
Reverse Lunge

Ballet Squats

Start by standing with your legs apart, feet flat on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders with your toes pointed out in the 10 and 2 o'clock positions. Keeping your head up and your torso as erect as possible, initiate the movement by bending your knees while keeping your torso upright holing your hands to your waist or in front of you. Your knees should travel in lines with your toes, descending as though performing a ballet plie. Try to lower your as far as your flexibility allows. Using your legs and resisting the temptation to lean forward push out of the bottom position to return to the start.

Click To Enlarge.
Ballet Squat

Example of upper body compound movements done three times a week with leg movements:

Pull-over and Close-Grip Press

Start by laying at the edge of a bench, gripping either light weight dumbbells or a pullover bar, keep elbows close together and lower behind head, on the return, bring to chest and press up. Repeat 2 sets 15-20 reps.

Click To Enlarge.

Click To Enlarge.
Close-Grip Press

Curl Press

Start with dumbbells by your sides, curl up into a bicep curl turn your dumbbells out and press up into a shoulder press.

Click To Enlarge.
Dumbbell Curl

Click To Enlarge.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Compound Flyes

Start by laying on your back on a bench, hold dumbbells with wrists facing in, slowly fly arms out, now as you are bring arms out turn wrists in bringing the hands underneath the bench and bring them out again to starting position.

Click To Enlarge.
Dumbbell Flyes

Lying Knee Lifts

Start by laying on your back with hands by your sides or under your butt, slowly raise your knees to your chest. Repeat 3 sets of 20 reps.

Click To Enlarge.
Dumbbell Press

Have fun, test, and create new and easy varieties.

Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Example Workout.


It is important that when you read about new programs and especially when you try them that you question their logic and question their methods. As we've tried to point out by explaining the Freestyle System, it's not the exercise that is complicated; it has just been misguided. By using what is known about exercise and applying only those aspects that accomplish your unique goals, you can create a program that really works. Use some logic. Question. Read. Learn. It is time to begin preaching a women-only approach to exercise, and this document hails the launch of that campaign!

Thank you all for your interest in my informational programs; If you would like to find out how to get more information and get in the best shape ever, attend one of my two day camp seminars or if you would like to purchase a freestyle book or freestyle lunging poles, please e-mail me or call 818-472-8949.

All pictures are copyrighted and used with permission. Some pictures were done by Jim Lindstrom, DigiPic Studios / 702-562-6360. Contact him if you need photography! He is great.