Beginners Circuit – Jump-start Your Fitness with Proven Workout

Why share a circuit that’s not too dissimilar from one you might find in one of my 8-week programs? 

Well, first off, workouts are widespread; a quick internet search for Beginners Circuit yields nearly 98 million examples! The challenge isn’t so much finding circuits, but rather deciding which one best suits your movement goals.

A Refreshing Start

Given the vast array of options, we must sift through the good and the mediocre. Additionally, we must acknowledge that the majority (unless specified) caters to an imaginary group with no limitations, injuries, or muscle/postural imbalances.

While the following routine is intentionally straightforward, it serves as both a template and serves as a window into my role as a personal trainer whether in-person or through an online-only option. From this standpoint, exercises can be adapted or sequenced to target specific areas needing prioritisation (Hint: weakest first). Moreover, factors like load, rep ranges, and recovery should also be adjusted to your current fitness level.

The simplicity of this Beginners Circuits layout also limits the number of exercises to “an essential few,” and steers us clear of the common misconception that “more is better”, while also emphasising mastery of each exercise. The workout adheres to a personal twist on KISS, updating this to “Keep it Stupidly Simple.”  In doing, so we exclude exercises which can be addressed in a few short weeks, while providing space to “learn the ropes” without burdening you with learning too much too soon.

Beginners Circuit Overview

Whole Body Beginners Circuit

Our ultimate aim is to complete three rounds of each circuit. Some individuals may achieve this in a few weeks, while others may take a bit longer. It’s crucial to understand that this isn’t a race; rather, take your time, grasp the nuances of exercising with precision.


Circuit One – 10 reps (rest 30-60 seconds)

Circuit Two – 15 reps (rest 30-60 seconds)


2-3 seconds lowering, 1 second hold, 1 second positive phase, 1 second pause. 

Cross Trainer (undulating escalations) Start at level 1-4. For intervals – increase by 2 levels, decrease by 1 level every 30 seconds for 5-10 minutes. intervals may be adjusted every 60 seconds if required.

 Perform once all (1-3) circuits are complete. 

 30 seconds comfortable pace (this also serves as a recovery pace, steady pace / intensity).

30 seconds FAST pace (increase speed / RPM and resistance


Paloff Press, Shoulder Taps, Alt Split Squat, TRX Row, Sumo Squat, Incline Push Up, Cross Trainer

Advancing the Circuit

Just like any programme, when its time to move on, think of this example as Beginners Circuit level 1, after which you progress to level1, 3 etc.  This should be viewed as transitioning from one block of training. Each block may last three to twelve weeks depending on fitness levels, the nature of your training (fitness, performance), and recovery (essential). As a general guideline, I typically set an 8-week block for my clients, providing six blocks of training over a 12-month span. This approach aims to progress beginners into competent, confident, and skilled gym users who can adjust, adapt, and refine their training.

Advancing the Circuit (Options Available):

  • “Sessions Completed”: After 3-6 sessions, consider adding an extra round when you feel improved recovery and sustained energy levels. Evaluate the intensity/recovery of the additional circuit and assess whether it might be too much. If so, hold off for another two sessions before attempting again.
  • “Drip Feed” Option: After 3-6 sessions, gradually introduce a small number of exercises to expand the circuits. This allows you to incrementally test new exercises without undue stress. Perform the expanded circuit for two sessions before adding more exercises. Repeat this process until you can complete three full circuits.
  • Time to Expand: Once you can consistently complete 3-4 full circuits for 3-5 sessions, it’s time to update the circuit. This may involve adding more exercises, increasing reps/time for each exercise, reducing recovery, or introducing an entirely new circuit.

Coaching Notes

  • Adjust intensity, load and recovery accordingly
  • As fitness improves – try the following: Add a load to exercises (where possible), reduce recovery transition between exercises/circuits, Increase the number of circuits performed, Increase duration on cardio component, start cardio component at a high level

Need to ensure you are training at the right intensity – click here to learn all about Reps in Reserve

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