At Home “Beginner’s Total Circuit” – Review

There are some fantastic home workouts that have been developed and offered on the BodyFit site and app. Regardless of what your fitness goals are, there are home workout plans for you.

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I just completed “The Beginner’s Total Circuit“. I’m not a “Beginner” but I still got a great workout! Check it out!

The Beginner’s Total Circuit

Although the name for In Home Workout #1 is named for “Beginners” it can serve Intermediate or Advanced Fitness enthusiasts. I will be explaining that as the article proceeds.

This workout will help you build muscle and strength, improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn fat. You will need a set of dumbbells. For men, the weight you’ll need will probably be anywhere from 10 to 25 pound dumbbells. If you are more advanced in your conditioning, just use heavier ones.

This circuit workout will challenge and strengthen all your muscle groups.

It makes it so easy and fun to use the BodyFit app to track each exercise.

The Exercises

Walking Lunge

1 set, 20 reps (alternating, 10 reps per side, rest 15-30 sec.)

Because you’re working your quadriceps, the largest muscles in your body, this exercise will challenge you more cardiovascularly. If doing this is easy for you, carry some dumbbells. That will increase the resistance helping you grow muscle and burn fat.

You might be finding already, that resting 30 seconds is not enough. It’s good to push yourself but use moderation. The importance is consistency. If you need to wait longer, do. I recommend you time your rests so you can

Push-up

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

Keep you body as parallel to the floor as possible. If doing 10 push-ups is easy for you, slow down. Use a slow 3-count on the down motion and on the up motion. Hold position at the top and at the bottom for a 1-count.

Doing this will increase the “time under tension” for your muscles, especially chest, shoulders and triceps. Increasing time under tension with no rest significantly contributes to muscle growth.

Ab Bicycle

1 set, 20 reps (alternating, 10 reps per side, rest 15-30 sec.)

To perform this, lay on your back with hands locked behind your head. Bend and straighten alternating legs as if you were riding a bicycle. If you can’t do all 20 reps, rest then do some more until you get 20.

If this exercise is easy for you, slow down each movement to a slow 3-count. Hold at top and bottom for a 1-count.

Jumping Jack

1 set, 1 min (rest 15-30 sec.)

I’m sure you remember doing these in grade school or high school gym class.

Bodyweight Squat

1 set, 20 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

Spread your legs a little more than shoulder width. Clasp your hands in front of your chest, almost chin-high. Keep your back flat. As you go down, push your butt out, maintaining the flatness of your back. Go down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold for a one count, then return to the original position.

If these are too easy for you hold a dumbbell in front of your chest, just below your chin.

Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

  • With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.: Make sure that you keep the head up. The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side (as you breathe out), keeping the elbows close to the body (do not exert any force with the forearm other than holding the weights). On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  • Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale

Plank

1 set, 1 min (rest 15-30 sec.)

Doing a plank with arms outstretched and hands on the floor is easier for beginners than a forearm plank.

Get into straight arm plank position. Hands should be on the ground directly underneath your shoulders with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your back is flat and your head and neck are in a neutral position. Squeeze your quads, glutes, and core. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth—don’t hold your breath.

For the elbow plank: Get into forearm plank position. Ensure your elbows on the ground directly underneath your shoulders with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your back is flat and your head and neck are in a neutral position. Drive your elbows into the floor, and squeeze your quads, glutes, and core. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth—don’t hold your breath.

Dumbbell Step-up

1 set, 20 reps (alternating, 10 reps per side, rest 15-30 sec.)

In addition to dumbbells, you’ll need a bench, box or chair for this exercise.

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and place one foot on a bench or box, your knee bent to 90°. Keeping the other leg straight and firmly planted on the ground, push your shoulders back and chest out.
  • Push through your top foot to raise your body over the platform, your back leg suspended in the air. Push your hip back to lower your support leg back to the floor.

This exercise works me pretty hard. It may for you too. If you need to pause to catch your breath, do so.

Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

While in standing position with feet a little wider than shoulder width hold a dumbbell in each hand. The starting point for the dumbbells should be just above the shoulders.

If you experience any shoulder pain, try making the starting point of dumbbells a little higher, above the shoulders and reduce the weight.

Press both dumbbells up simultaneously until arms are fully extended. Then lower them back to the starting position. That accounts for 1 repetition.

Lying Leg Raise

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

Lay flat on your back with arms at your sides and palms facing down. With your knees slightly bent, slowly raise your legs until they are perpendicular with the floor. Hold for a one-count. Then, slowly lower you legs until just before your feet touch the floor. Hold for a one-count and repeat.

If you find this is too difficult, bend your knees more until you are able to perform the movement. You can also quicken the pace and NOT hold for a one-count at top and bottom. Another thing that can make it easier is to rest your feet on the floor for a one-count at the bottom of the movement.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

Begin standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, at your sides. The dumbbells should be parallel to each other. Slowly raise the dumbbells away from your sides to just higher thn shoulder height. Have your elbows slightly bent.

Hold the dumbbells for a one-count at the top of the movement. Then lower slowly back to the start position. Do not rest the dumbbells against your legs.

The bottom of the movement should be a few inches away from the leg so you can maintain the total time-under-tension. Hold position for a one-count at the bottom.

If the exercise is too difficult to perform for 10 repetitions, you can make it more achievable by either reducing the weight of the dumbbells, quicken the movement up and down, and eliminate holding the one-count at the top and bottom. of the movement.

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

1 set, 10 reps (rest 15-30 sec.)

Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging by your sides. Ensure your elbows are close to your torso and your palms facing forward. Keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale as you curl the weights up to shoulder level while contracting your biceps.

Use a thumb-less grip. Place your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers increases peak contraction in the biceps at the top point of the movement. Hold the weight at shoulder height for a brief one-count, then inhale as you slowly lower back to the start position.

Side-to-side Box Skip

1 set, 20 reps (alternating, 10 reps per side, rest 15-30 sec.)

The side-to-side box skip is mainly a lower body exercise. It involves jumping side-to-side over a box or bench. Start with one foot on top of the box and one on the floor.

Jump laterally over the bench placing your foot that started on the floor to the top of the bench. At the same time you are moving your foot that was on top of the bench to the floor.

Keep your knees flexing, continuing the side-by-side movements until you’ve achieved 10 reps per side. This is primarily a lower body exercise but is also a good cardiovascular workout.

Single-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

1 set, 10 reps (left side, rest 15-30 sec.)

I recommend you perform this exercise in a standing position. Bring the dumbbell to shoulder height and then extend the arm over your head so that the whole arm is perpendicular to the floor and next to your head.

The dumbbell should be on top of you. The other hand can be kept fully extended to the side, by the waist. Rotate your wrist so that the palm of your hand is facing forward and the pinkie is facing the ceiling. This will be your starting position.

Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head as you hold the upper arm stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.

Come back to the starting position by flexing your triceps. It is very important that only the forearm moves. The upper arm should remain stationary, next to your head.

Do 10 reps then change arms.

Maximizing Your Gains With This Routine

I recommend you do the above routine 3 times per week for 4 to 6 weeks. Be sure to make a change to another workout after 4-weeks unless you feel you are still making significant progress. If you think your progress is slowing or you are beginning to plateau, it’s time for new exercises and a different workout plan. I will address that in my next blog.

It’s MUCH better to use lower weights and better form than to be concerned with maximizing the weight you use. If you feel you could be using more weight than the dumbbells you have, slow down your reps to a slow 3, or 4-count. Pause at the top and bottom of each movement and concentrate on the “mind-muscle connection” to get the most from every rep.

If you are more intermediate to advanced in weight training, you can:

  • Increase the weight
  • Slow the motions to a HIIT rate, (slow 4-count)
  • Pause at the top and bottom of each movement
  • Maintain 100% time-under-tension
  • Perform the entire circuit more than once.

Time-Under-Tension Explained

 

 

 

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Conclusion

I have been training with weights for years. I’m well beyond “beginner” level. Having now performed this “Beginner’s Total Circuit“, I was challenged and got a great workout for muscle growth, strength development and cardiovascular fitness.

If you are a beginner, this is a terrific workout you can do at home or in a gym.

I welcome your comments and questions below.

Wishing you all the best!

About Glenn

Hi everyone and welcome to my Fitness for Guys Over 60 website. At the time of this writing I am 68 years old. I’ve been a student of the ‘how-to’s’ and the many benefits of improving fitness. Thanks to science and technology, there are vast amounts of information today that make it so people can train less and achieve so much more than in years gone by. There is information on how to find the motivation to actually look forward to training. I have had the joy of helping guys I know, who are in the ‘second half of life’ to begin and maintain a lifestyle of being stronger, more flexible and feeling better than they had for years. And it doesn’t have to involve countless hours of training.

A Little About My Journey

When I was in my 20s a couple of buddies and started working out at a gym. We didn’t know anything about training or the role of nutrition and rest. I went to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, did the same exercises every time. I ran a couple of miles on 3 other days. Definitely, my overall improved my overall fitness and sense of well-being. Additionally, grew some muscle and strength but I plateaued, lost motivation and stopped.

Through my 30s and 40s I played racquetball and roller hockey. At 47 years old I was ready to hang up my skates. I decided to join a gym. I knew I needed to have some kind of structured plan. Working out at a “90 day challenge” helped me immensely. It provided me with information and structure. I trained with weights for about 45 minutes, 3 days per week and 20 minutes of cardio 3 days a week. Additionally, followed an easy nutrition plan. I took ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. The transformation was amazing! I felt fantastic and my energy levels were through the roof.

I shared my story and showed my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures to lots of guys at work. “Would you be willing to dedicate 90 days of your life to make this kind of transformation?”, I asked. Over 30 guys I knew at work entered the 90-day challenge. It was extremely gratifying for me to encourage and contribute to the lives of those guys and see them enjoy the benefits that I was enjoying.

Things have gotten better

In the last 20 years much has been learned about the science of exercise, muscle growth and nutrition. There are Facebook groups of people in their 50s, 60s and beyond that share and encourage each other as they enjoy living with fitness and strength equal to or greater than when they were decades younger. Being able to run around and play with grandchildren is one of life’s great joys.

Adding value and contributing into the lives of others is extremely fulfilling for me. Building muscle and fitness is something that has been a blessing in my life and I would love to help you if you so desire.

Why this website

My aim is to provide resources, information, motivation, support and encouragement to help guys age well, to be strong and fit. With training for muscle and strength, bone density improves too. The body also responds by creating more testosterone. The immune system strengthens. These are just some benefits I aim to help you and other men enjoy for years to come.

All the best,

Glenn
Fitness-for-Guys-Over-60.com

Glenn-at-the-gym
Glenn at the gym