Select Page

Circuit Workout From Hell – Today’s Workout Insanity

Circuit Workout From Hell – Today’s Workout Insanity

Every once in a while i go to a mate’s place for a workout. He doesn’t have a lot of heavy weights so we do a circuit. Often he invites me there and I baulk at the prospect. I know it’s going to be gruelling.

He’s 10 years younger than me and about 15Kgs lighter. He’s also a cardio machine. I can destroy him in the heavy weights, but he’s all over me on the aerobic capacity.

Weights can be a lazy affair really. A heavy set and then a few minutes to catch your breath and have a chat about the weeks events.

This is different. There is no let up. Once we start, we virtually don’t stop moving until it’s done. There may be a few (very welcome) pauses, while one of us is finishing a particular exercise, but that’s about it.

The way we did it today is called the deck of cards. I’ve written about it before. Thankfully today my mate decided that face cards were out. Also we weren’t varying the number of reps. It was just a single fixed amount of reps per each of the chosen exercises.

The workout we chose to do was something like this

spades: front squats 40 kilos x 10 reps.

clubs: turkish get up 12 kilos by 3 reps each side of the body.

diamonds: kettlebell swings 20 kilo kettlebell 10 reps.

hearts: shoulder press 40 kilos x 8 reps

for simplicity’s sake I have shown my workout. My mates’ is the same only we flipped the exercises so that we aren’t doing the same exercise on the same suit of cards.

So off we go. If you have been paying attention you will realise that is ten sets per exercise.

Also, if you are a dedicated weight lifter you will think that the weights we are using are quite light. Almost seems like a waste of time really doesn’t it?

Well it’s not, let me tell you. Weight training can be as one dimensional or as multi dimensional as you want it. If you think it’s all about getting bloated muscles that are all show and no go, then it can be that. If you want to be able to bench press massive amounts but get tired going to the mailbox, it can be that too.

But if you want real, functional strength, it can also be that. Most top athletes in many sports incorporate some form of strength training into their routines. Rugby players especially and Australian rules football players need that little but of extra bulk to withstand on field collisions, but they can’t afford to get tired half way through the game. Judo players need strength, stamina and explosive power to compete in their sport. Once again, bulky, slow and tiring easily is no good.

So what does this workout do? The turkish get up is excellent for coordination, balance and stamina for a start. The swing are an excellent exercise for explosive power and hip drive, which is broadly applicable across many sports. Shoulder presses are always  good to throw into any workout. Ten sets, even with a light weight add up over time. Same as with the 10 sets of squats.

At the end of it all, your cardio is done and every muscle exercised. It took about 40 minutes. Let that sink in.. 40 sets, 40 minutes. I needed a beer. Too bad it was a morning workout.

So if real, functional strength is your thing, these are the type of workouts you should do from time to time.

Image Source:  Wissembourg – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

About The Author


A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.