Cardio Circuit (HIIT)

HIIT (Jump rope)

Hello friends!  Summer is fast approaching, and in my bootcamp we’re discussing how nervous we are about working out on our own this summer… as in: WHAT IF WE DON’T???

What if we get out of our routine amidst all the travel?  What if we make excuses not to work out??  What if we get out of the mindset, stop working out, and lose the fitness we’ve worked so hard for all year???

To be honest, it could easily happen.  Not exercising over a short holiday is one thing (and easily recoverable,) but to go for 6-8 weeks on an extended “home leave” type of vacation without working out… well, we’ve just gotta find a way to stay fit!  It doesn’t have to be a “set” or “formal” routine.  But we do have to plan ahead for our exercise.

I find that my workout routine changes when I go to Colorado for 6 weeks during the summer.  I run more and lift weights less.  I play at the park with my kids and do a lot of handstands & pull-ups.  We go for bike rides along the trails and long walks along the pathways.  I preview my summer so that I can plan for when we’ll be away from my Pa’s house… where I’ll be able to run, if the hotel where we’ll be staying has a basic gym, etc.  And I always, always pack my jump rope!

Cardio circuit

I’m lucky that I can keep a minimal set of workout equipment at my Pa’s house: a set of kettle bells and 2 sets of dumbbells.   But even if I had to buy it new every summer and donate it to Goodwill the day before I flew back home, I would, and just consider it a good investment in my summer fitness.  In that case, I would pare down to one kettle bell and one set of medium-weight dumbbells.

Often, it’s a matter of getting (or making!) the time to exercise when you’re visiting with family and friends.  That’s why I love workouts like this cardio circuit.  High-intesity interval training (HIIT) challenges both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems… thereby burning fat during and after the workout.  This type of workout session shows benefits (i.e., fat burning and cardiovascular endurance) in less time than traditional steady-pace cardio training.  That’s good news when you’re short on time!

This workout is flexible in that you can do the circuit as many or as few times as you want.  Each circuit takes about 10 minutes to complete, and one is enough if you’re really tight on time.  But if you have more time, try up to 4 for a seriously fat-burning workout!!  If you try it, let me know how it goes.  Your comments make my day.


WARM UP: Run/walk 5 minutes

Repeat 1-4 times:







Kettle Bell Swing: Starting in a neutral position, swing the kettle bell up to shoulder height.  Then, keeping your back straight, bend your knees and let the kettle bell swing downward between your legs with its own momentum.  Rock back slightly on your heels, then swing the kettle bell back up.  That’s one rep.

Kettle bell swingKettle bell swing

Mountain Climbers: Starting in plank position, bend one knee up towards the opposite elbow, then back down, changing legs mid-air (like a run with your hands on the ground.)  Try to keep your hips fairly low throughout the exercise.

Mountain climbersMountain climbersMountain climbers

Jump Rope: jump however feels best to you, double leg or single leg.

Jump rope

Bicycle Crunches: lift your shoulder blades off the ground and try to touch your right elbow to your left knee, while extending your right knee down.  That’s one rep.  Switch sides for the other rep.

Bicycle crunchBicycle crunch

4 thoughts on “Cardio Circuit (HIIT)”

    1. Jo, it will be heavenly… 🙂 You can also take a beautiful run around the Champs de Mars, lots of joggers. Have so much fun!! I know you’ll stay fit, you gorgeous girl!! 🙂 xo

  1. I’d love to get in on your boot amp workouts with you while you’re in Austin! Plus rock climbing, hiking, swimming, stand up paddle boarding…should be able to stay active the few days you guys are here 😉

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