Posted by: saramcglothlin | August 27, 2012

Short Circuits

The only way I incorporated any kind of “circuit” into my workout previously would be to adjust the resistance on the elliptical, or increase the incline on my treadmill every couple of minutes.  I never thought I would be doing this kind of circuit workout  that I do occasionally  these days.  The first time I tried one of Julie’s circuit workouts I was hooked.  It had me sweating in no time, not to mention there was nothing boring about it!  After reading about other bloggers that use these short but sweaty sessions in their daily routine (Angela always has some good ones), I started to pick and choose moves from various circuits to spice it up even more.  One negative about this method is that I usually make it up as I go along, so I now know I need to start writing them down, or having it on my iPhone before going to the gym.  A good example of this happened this morning: I spent 22 minutes (every minute counts) on the stair-stepper and then got my mat, kettle ball and jump rope ready for a short circuit.  After about 10 minutes, I wasn’t feeling creative anymore, so I got on the treadmill, alternating minutes of walking at 4.5 and running at 7.5.  BUT, if I had a list of the workout in front of me, I would have been more motivated to stick with it, and probably would have gotten more bang for my buck out of the little time I had.

I came across a circuit-inspired article in Women’s Health  recently, and have been saving it ever since.



Burn More Fat in Less Time.”  I don’t doubt it.  Whether I’m burning fat or not, my heart is pumping and I walk away feeling oh-so-satisfied.  Rarely does that happen when I spend an equal amount of time on the elliptical or stationary bike.  There were some very good exercises explained in the article, which I will definitely refer to when thinking up my next workout.  Here are a few:

  • Burpee

  • X-Factor

  • Frog Jump

  • Mountain climber

  • Lateral Lunge Jump –> hard 

  • Plank with Arm Reach

  • Push-up with Knee Raise –> whoa

*Start in a push-up position.  Lower chest to the ground and push back up to start then raise/bend your right knee to the outside of your right elbow (1 rep).  Repeat on left side (another rep)…The picture makes it look like this is done simultaneously, but the magazine describes it differently.

  • Lateral to Curtsy Lunge and Row

  • Crouching Tiger Kickback

  • Roll-Up with V-Sit


(Thank you Google Images and Jane Fonda…you get the idea…P.S. my mom totally had that workout video.  Click on the link for a blast from the past)

Bottom line is that I feel like these provide me with a good amount to mix-and-match!


This morning I had already-prepared Blueberry-Banana-Chia OO waiting for me in the fridge.

  • 1/3 c oats
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • blueberries
  • sliced banana and almond butter on top


Left-Over Peach, Black Bean Salad with 1/2 avocado; rosemary sweet potato fries*

*For the fries: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice a sweet potato and coat with EVOO, sea salt, dried rosemary.  Bake 45 minutes – an hour.

My mid-afternoon snack entailed a cashew sarabar.  Y’all, this tasted just like a Cashew Cookie Larabar, but actually kept me full for 3 hours!  I don’t think I am ever buying snack bars again.  Done and done.


Chimichuri sauce was the star of the show tonight.  My roommate made my Chimichuri Lucianas last night, and I was lucky to get her left-overs!

Chimichuri Wrap with Tilapia, kale chips, squash puree with honey

I preheat my oven to 375 degrees to bake both the kale chips and the tilapia for 15 minutes.

For the kale chips, I used a few handfuls of this kale, coating it with EVOO and sea salt.  It was already chopped, so no other prep work was needed.  The result: teeny tiny kale chips that were so airy and light they melt in my mouth!


I spread chimichuri sauce all over that whole wheat wrap and drizzled more on top for good measure




Another My Meatless Monday if I do say so myself.

Do you incorporate circuit workouts into your routine?  If so, what are some of your favorite moves?



  1. All of your meals always look SO good. So impressive. I admit, i’ve never really had kale or kale chips before.. I need to get on that bandwagon.

    Also, love HIIT work outs.. I am with you, I never get off the elliptical w/ my heart pumping like I do when either I teach zumba or do intervals,etc. like you posted above… it’s shorter work outs and you burn fat? total win-win!

    • Thanks girl! I hadn’t had kale chips in a while (years) until last night. I am definitely reincorporating them back into my life

  2. The first circuit I tried was one of Julies too, I never thought of myself as a circuit workout person, but I loved it! I still do not do them regularly, but that makes it fun to throw them in from time to time to work different muscles.

    That actually sounds like a good goal for me haha, incorporate one killer circuit per week!

    • I know it’s the only workout that still makes me sore the next day. That’s a good plan! I’m with you on that

  3. […] At least she liked the post! […]

  4. […] the day with a short but sweaty circuit workout, by mixing and matching some moves I mentioned the other day.  I spent some time last night writing out a […]

  5. […] the Kale chips, I placed pre-chopped kale on a baking sheet, sprayed with EVOO cooking spray, and sprinkled sea salt and garlic powder.  Bake […]

  6. […] With a 30 second rest period in between each exercise, that is all I had time for this morning.  It took me about 20 minutes to complete.  It was still a great short circuit! […]

  7. I LOVE circuit workouts–or really any kind of interval training. It keeps it interesting and REALLY makes me push it.

    • And that’s why I LOVED today’s class because it was like the circuits I try to do on my own but I really had to push myself this morning!

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