Training

Fitness Workout and Nutrition | Get Fit with this 4-Week Plan

With many countries finally coming out of lockdowns, lots of us will be looking to regain some lost fitness. For many of us, returning to the basics is likely to help us return to our previous levels of fitness more quickly – particularly if we apply a guided structure to our workouts for a set period of time.

This Fit in 4 Weeks training program is circuit-based training. Before you begin your workout, you’ll need to warm up for 10-15 minutes. If you’re in the gym, this can be on a treadmill or stationary bike. If you’re not ready or able to head to the gym, then a walk in the park is just as good.

Each exercise should be performed for the required time, which is usually about 8 exercises per circuit.

 

Why You Should Try Circuit Training

It’s a great whole-body workout:

While you can tailor a circuit workout to focus solely on one muscle group, circuit training typically involves exercises that use every muscle group. This means that you can pack a whole-body workout into a compact time frame while developing the strength and fitness of all of the muscles in your body!

It can improve strength and cardiac fitness:

The exercise selection will tend to favour one of these elements of fitness more than the other, but it certainly provides a good challenge for the body to adapt to! A circuit that might focus more on the development of strength may include compound exercises like squats, push-ups or hip hinge variations. Cardiovascular fitness is still likely to be developed in these sessions as the limited rest periods ensure you maintain an elevated heart rate.

Circuit training can boost your metabolism:

Participating in circuit training will place great demands on your muscles, so they will need to recover throughout the rest of the day and night. This means that there will be increased metabolic activity in your muscles as they are recovering, so you will be utilising greater amounts of energy to sustain your muscle mass as opposed to if you were to have had a sedentary day.

It can help you to burn fat:

Initially, your body will use the energy stores from your muscles (glycogen), derived from carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. As these stores are depleted, your body will utilise fat oxidation as a fuel source. When combined with a sufficient dietary caloric deficit, you’ll notice your body fat will start to disappear as it is used for energy.

Circuit training can improve your fitness levels:

Increasing your fitness levels often refers to cardiovascular fitness or local muscular endurance. Due to the nature of circuit training sessions, where the rest periods are either very short or non-existent, you’re likely to improve your fitness by keeping your heart rate in a higher range for extended periods of time. Additionally, accumulating lactic acid in your muscles is recognised as a potential factor responsible for both hypertrophy and improving muscular endurance – as your muscles and improved cardiovascular system become more efficient at removing cellular waste.

Circuits are time efficient:

Typically, circuit training involves limiting rest periods between exercises to be either very short or absent. This then acts to keep your heart rate elevated throughout the workout, but it also means that your aren’t spending half of your workout resting between sets – so you can workout much more time-efficiently whilst expending the same amount of calories as a normal workout (or more!).

4-Week Fitness Workout

As with any workout, we recommend warming up for 10 minutes with a walk or jog, or on a bike, cross trainer, or treadmill with a comfortable resistance level. Warming up is essential help increase the blood flow to your muscles, which in turn heats them up. Warmer muscles are significantly less likely to be injured by common problems like muscle strains, and they also perform much better than cold muscles. The increased muscle temperature also contributes to soft tissue becoming more pliable, meaning that your mobility can be acutely improved during the period of your workout.

Week 1

Day 1: The Starting-Off Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 2 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 30 Seconds
Body Weight Squats 30 Seconds
High Knees 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Bicycle Crunches 30 Seconds
Push Ups 30 Seconds
Flutter Kicks 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 2: The Power Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Power Jack 45 Seconds
Lunge Jump 45 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Vertical Jump 45 Seconds
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 3: The Arm Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 2 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Push Ups 45 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Tricep Dips 60 Seconds
Shoulder Press Push Up 45 Seconds
Power Jack 45 Seconds
Diamond Push Up 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 4: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

Day 5: The Ab Circuit

Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Regular Crunches 60 Seconds
Leg Raises 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Plank 30 Seconds
Side Crunches 30 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Russian Twists 30 Seconds
Toe Reach Sit Up 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 6: Leg Day Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 30 Seconds
Body Weight Squats 30 Seconds
Lunge Jumps 45 Seconds
High Knees 30 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 45 Seconds
Calf Raises 30 Seconds
Vertical Jumps 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 7: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

Week 2

Day 1: The Back-to-Basics Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 45 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Burpees 45 Second
Russian Twists 45 Seconds
Push Ups 45 Seconds
Light Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Elliptical) 15 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 2: The Arm Circuit

Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Power Jacks 30 Seconds
Push Ups into Mountain Climbers 8 of each
Burpees 30 Seconds
Tricep Dips 60 Seconds
Side Planks 30 Seconds
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Diamond Push Up 60 Seconds
Light Cardio 15 Minutes
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 3: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

Day 4: Leg Day

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Power Jack 45 Seconds
High Knees 45 Seconds
Squat Jump 45 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Basketball Jump 45 Seconds
Squat 30 Seconds
Lunge Jump 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 5: The Ab Circuit

Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 30 Seconds
Russian Twists 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Plank 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Flutter Kicks 30 Seconds
Reverse Crunch 30 Seconds
Light Cardio 15 Minutes
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

 

Day 6: Leg Day

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Power Jack 45 Seconds
Lunge Jump 45 Seconds
High Knees 30 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 30 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Vertical Jumps 45 Seconds
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 15 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 7: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

Week 3

Day 1: Multi Muscle Circuit

Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Vertical Jump 45 Seconds
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Bicycle Crunch 60 Seconds
Burpees 45 Seconds
Lunges (Alternating Legs) 60 Seconds
Squat Jump 45 Seconds
Plank 60 Seconds
Flutter Kicks 30 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 10 Minutes
Sprints (Maximum Effort) 30 Seconds
Plank Until Failure
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 2: The Arm Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 2 minutes between each cycle
Burpees 45 Seconds
Push Ups 45 Seconds
High Knees 30 Seconds
Tricep Dips 60 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 30 Seconds
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Diamond Push Ups 30 Seconds
Shoulder Push Up 45 Seconds
Plank 45 Seconds
Russian Twist with Weight 30 Seconds
Light Cardio 25 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 3: The Power Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 2 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Burpees 45 Seconds
Power Jacks 45 Seconds
Lunge Jump 60 Seconds
Leg Raises 30 Seconds
Vertical Jump 60 Seconds
Side Plank 60 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 10 Minutes
Sprints (Maximum Effort) 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 4: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

Day 5: The Ab Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Regular Crunches 60 Seconds
Leg Raises 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Plank 60 Seconds
Russian Twists 30 Seconds
V Sit Ups 30 Seconds
Side Crunches 45 Seconds
Toe Reach Sit Up 30 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Plank 45 Seconds
Bicycle Crunch 60 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 15 Minutes
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 6: Leg Day

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Power Jack 45 Seconds
Lunge Jump 45 Seconds
High Knee 30 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Vertical Jump 45 Seconds
Squats 60 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 25 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 7: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

Week 4

Day 1: The Multi Muscle Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Calf Raises 30 Seconds
Power Jack 60 Seconds
High Knees 45 Seconds
Butt Kicks 45 Seconds
Flutter Kicks 30 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 60 Seconds
Push Through Crunch 60 Seconds
Russian Twists with Weight 30 Seconds
Glute Bridge 60 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 30 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 2: Maximum Power Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Lunge Jump 45 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Power Jacks 30 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Basketball Jump 45 Seconds
Side Plank 30 Seconds
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 3: The Arm Circuit

Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 60 Seconds
Butt Kicks 60 Seconds
High Knees 60 Seconds
Vertical Jump 45 Seconds
Circuit: Repeat 3 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Calf Raises 30 Seconds
Push Ups 45 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Power Jacks 30 Seconds
Shoulder Push Up 45 Seconds
V Sit Up 60 Seconds
Burpees 30 Seconds
Diamond Push Up 45 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 45 Seconds
Tricep Dip 60 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 20 Minutes
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 4: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

Day 5: The Ab Circuit

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Jumping Jacks 60 Seconds
High Knees 45 Seconds
Bicycle Crunches 30 Seconds
Flutter Kicks 30 Seconds
Vertical Jump 45 Seconds
Push Through Crunch 45 Seconds
Reverse Crunch 45 Seconds
Crunch 60 Seconds
Plank 45 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 30 Minutes
Cool Down
Hip Openers 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 6: Leg Day

Warm Up
Light Cardio (Walk, Jog, Bike etc) 10 Minutes
Circuit: Repeat 4 times, with a resting for 3 minutes between each cycle
Squat Jumps 45 Seconds
Butt Kicks 30 Seconds
Power Jack 45 Seconds
Calf Raises 30 Seconds
Mountain Climbers 45 Seconds
Burpees 45 Seconds
Plank 30 Seconds
Jumping Jack 30 Seconds
Push Through Crunch 30 Seconds
Basketball Jumps 45 Seconds
HIIT Cardio (Bike, Treadmill or Run) 30 Minutes
Cool Down
Hamstring Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Side Lunges 15 – 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 15 – 30 Seconds

Day 7: Rest Day

Today is an important day for muscle recovery. The following stretches should be completed first thing in the morning.

Stretch
Side Lunges 30 Seconds
Hip Flexor Stretch 30 Seconds
Quadriceps Stretch 30 Seconds
Hip Openers 30 Seconds
Hamstring Stretch 30 Seconds
Calf Stretch 30 Seconds

 

How to Supplement your Circuit Training

Protein is an essential component of the muscle-building process. Protein contains amino acids, which are required for muscle protein synthesis. Protein is not the only part of your diet that you can supplement though – other things like branched chain amino acids can contribute to the maintenance of lean muscle mass, while others can promote metabolic activity that is advantageous for those with the goal of fat loss. Recovery is another essential element if you are serious about making progress in your training, so things like ZMA, that support REM sleep cycles, could provide the boost you need to make the progress you want. As a result of this, some supplements are best taken at specific times of day – for instance, pre-workout and post-workout nutrition can significantly impact your training sessions, while taking ZMA around one hour prior to sleep will promote deep sleep, optimal for recovery.

Morning Meal Supplements

Afternoon Meal Supplements

  • Omega 3-6-9
  • CLA

Evening Meal Supplements

  • Omega 3-6-9
  • CLA

Supplements Before Bed

Pre-Workout Supplements

Post-Workout Supplements

 

Take Home Message

Whether you’re returning to the gym, or you just want to improve your fitness a little bit more – adding structure to your workout programme will help you to progress at a steady and noticeable pace. Keep a journal of your sessions so that you can reflect on how they went and how far you’ve progressed from start to finish!

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Scott Whitney

Scott Whitney

Sports Therapist and S&C Professional

Scott developed a passion for sport and performance through competing in long‐distance running and bouldering prior to attending university. Scott’s academic achievements include a BSc honours degree in Sports Therapy and an MSc degree in Strength and Conditioning. He is also a member of The Society of Sports Therapists and CIMSPA. Previously, he has worked with amateur and elite athletes, ranging from university sports teams to elite rugby league athletes and Team GB rowers. He currently works with various gyms in developing and delivering training programmes for amateur athletes and gym‐goers. While passive treatments remain in his arsenal as a Sports Therapist, Scott uses his skills to promote physical activity for combatting obesity, lower back pain and other sporting injuries, and simultaneously providing programmes for athletic development. Being a recent graduate, Scott strives to gain experience wherever possible, offering advice and sharing knowledge along the way. He believes it is important to practice what you preach, so in his spare time, Scott practices Olympic Weightlifting and enjoys being active outdoors in all weathers, although he still believes it is important to make ample time for social activities.


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