Weight Training Circuit Workout: Making Gains Hurts So Good

Alright, we’re talking fitness today! Yay. Since I’m now a professional, and all, right? Ok, well on paper I am anyway…

Lately, I’ve been sneaking in little bits of my workout program into posts and today is dedicated to filling in those gaps, or just explaining some of the things I’m doing in terms of fitness.

I’m excited to share with you the amazing workouts that fill my mornings… and since everyone around me is tired of hearing me talk about the world-of-weight training.

The Start of It All (well, besides CrossFit)

Katie sent me a link to Charlotte‘s amazing blog for a post about her experiences and experiments with weight training. From there I devoured all that I could with her numerous posts on weight lifting versus running, and the outcomes that she experienced. What really got me, through her trials and documentations, was that she had the most effective results for toning and losing body fat with doing minimal cardio.

She also did a month-long experiment with Rachel Cosgrove‘s book, The Female Body Breakthrough. The book I bought, read cover to cover, started the program out of, and am now loving. I took Charlotte’s advice and started at week 9 (of the 16 week program) since I had been lifting weights for a while now. Outcome: (again) I LOVE the program. Most of it anyway. And I’m making gains in my lifts and losing unneeded weight.

Cardio Vs. Weight

If you’ve done your research (or just read the countless articles out there confirming this piece of information), like I’m sure you have, then you already know that you should be weight training to maintain muscle mass and to lower body fat. You also probably already know that doing endless amounts of cardiovascular exercise will not reshape your body or help you tone up. And if you are like the old me, you are thinking, “Yeah right… there is NO way I’m stopping my cardio! I’ll blow up like a balloon.”

Alas, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, since cutting my cardio sessions down to 2 days a week with no more than 20 minute intervals (HIIT to be exact), I’ve lost 3 pounds (hopefully just fat), a few percentages of body fat, and am waaaaaay more toned (with weight lifting). I’ve even cut my time in the gym down and upped my calories. Take that cardio.

Tiny Pink Weights you should avoid! GO BIG
Tiny Pink Weights you should avoid! GO BIG or GO BIGGER!


This is not to say that cardio work is bad. This is not to say that you should not go run your half marathon this weekend. But this is me saying to myself that I have had WAY more results with increasing  weight training and lowering my cardio.

The Routine

Now that I have gotten my little speech out of the way, here’s my workouts (oooohhh the best part!!):

  • Monday: Full-body (heavy) lifting- workout variation #1
  • Tuesday: 10-20 minutes HIIT
  • Wednesday: Full-body (heavy) lifting- workout variation #2 (from Rachel Cosgrove’s book)
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Full-body (heavy) lifting- workout variation #1 (from Rachel Cosgrove’s book)
  • Saturday: Optional HIIT
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: repeat with workout #2, etc…

Total lifting time never goes over one hour. All weights are pretty heavy and I try to increase the load (weight) (even if 2.5 lbs) each week. Oh, and I bring intensity with me each and every workout.

Want a sneak peak into one of the workouts that I absolutely love-hate-love so so so SO much? Sure ya do. (just don’t tell Rachel Cosgrove since it’s directly out of the book)

“Fine-Tune” Phase Workout B (or #2 as shown above)

Dynamic Warmup
1A Swiss Ball Crunch (repeat 2x)

2A Complex: High pull, Front Squat with Push Press, Back Squat, Good Morning (repeat 4x with 8 reps of each)

(Done as a circuit, do each move 5-10x, in order, repeating all four exercises 3x total)
3A Deadlift
3B DB Rotational Overhead Press
3C Single-leg Squat
3D Bent-over row

Make sense? Good. With this specific 4 week phase of the program, the reps and sets are changed each week, confusing the hell out of your muscles, facilitating growth. By far, this is my favorite, yet deeply hated, workout from the book… why? Because if you’re lifting heavy enough (but with good form!) it hurts so good. 😉

My Motivation

Besides wanting to completely reshape my body, abs people, I’m talking packs of 6, I’d like to continue gaining strength. Oh, and this might be some pretty high ranking, kick-ass motivation.

And I also want to compete in a figure competition, as I have been researching the shit out of them. But no official plans yet….

Stay tuned for my “diet” changes… or just lifestyle changes. There isn’t really a set diet I’m doing, just little tweaks that have helped a lot. Stuff like these…

Protein, anyone?

Waaaaaay too much of these (if that is even possible! I love them!)

And some of these guys, which is chicken if you can’t tell. 😉

What are some of your motivations for working out, exercising, or just staying healthy?

Any exciting plans or news you want to share???

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