3 Fat-Burning Circuit Workouts

Your body’s calorie-burning trigger rests in sheer variety, so here are three shed-pounds circuits for your busiest time of year.

Want to firm up and burn those holiday pounds away? Make speed variance your secret sweat weapon. When your to-do list is long, now is the time to get creative with your cardio, combining it with strength-building moves so you can maximize both your time and effort.

Trainer, fitness model, and author of YES MAM! Your Muscle As a Motivator Nicole Chaplin designed this series of strength-plyo circuits to make every workout count and to “push you into a higher fat-burning zone,” she says. Plus, you’ll burn out your muscles without even thinking about it.


Select a challenging weight for Exercises 1, 3, and 5; and for No. 8, use light weights. See below for select descriptions and more circuits.

1. Dumbbell Chest Flye

2. Pushup With Alternating Side-Plank Rotation

3. Barbell Biceps Curl

4. TRX Biceps Curl

5. Cable Triceps Extension

6. TRX Triceps Extension

7. One-Minute Bicycle

8. Lower-Back Extension On A Swiss Ball Or Machine

SEE ALSO:The Crushing-It Core Workout


Begin in a full plank position with hands on floor beneath shoulders, fingers spread, and body in line from top of head to heels. Keeping gaze down between your hands, lower your chest toward the floor, trying to keep your elbows close to your sides. As you press back up, lift your right arm toward the ceiling, shifting your weight onto your left hand and keeping body in a straight line but chest open to righthand wall.


Set up a TRX suspension system on the high setting. Walk your feet in close toward where the TRX is anchored. Holding onto handles, straighten arms so your body is about 45 degrees to floor, rotating palms to face up. Keeping your elbows static, perform a curl by pulling your body weight toward the TRX, using your biceps to drive the movement. Return to start and repeat for given reps.


  • Perform this type of training two to three times a week.
  • Beginners: Twice a week do two to three sets of 8–12 reps of each exercise, 15 to 20 seconds’ rest between moves, using lighter weights.
  • Rest up to 90 seconds between rounds.
  • Intermediate/Advanced: Three times a week do three to four sets of 15–20 reps of each exercise, 15 to 20 seconds’ rest between moves, using heavier weights.
  • Rest up to 45 seconds between rounds.
  • Make sure to keep proper form until the very last rep.
  • Perform the following circuits on different days and give each all you’ve got.

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