Short-Circuit Your Workout

A properly designed exercise circuit can recreate many of the physical demands of an actual fight, and it’s an excellent opportunity to burn fat and build muscle.

This circuit mimics the specific time demands of an MMA fight. There are five exercises that should be performed for one minute each, with a 10-second transition from one exercise to the next. The goal is to perform at your maximum intensity for each exercise. After the circuit is complete, rest for one minute (or more, depending on your fitness level) and repeat twice.


Begin facing a large tire while holding the hammer. Bring the hammer back and over one side of the body and hit the tire as hard as possible. Return the hammer to the opposite side of your body and repeat for one minute.


If you are going to incorporate a circuit into your training, it’s important to utilize proper form during each exercise. If your form begins to suffer from increased fatigue, slow down. Don’t sacrifice technique for intensity.


Anchor a heavy-duty rope around a sturdy object and hold one end in each hand. Bend slightly at the knees as you swing each arm up and down in an alternating motion for one minute.


Begin standing while holding a kettlebell with both hands. Swing the bell between your legs as you squat down. Extend at your knees and hips, and swing the bell above your head. Repeat for one minute.


Begin standing while holding a medicine ball with both hands overhead. Slam the ball to the ground as hard as possible while bending slightly at the knees. Recover the ball and repeat for one minute.


Begin standing with one foot on a large tire and the other foot on the ground. Hop in the air and switch the position of your feet as fast as possible for one minute.


If you are interested in using more circuits in your training, check out Martin Rooney’s new book Warrior Cardio. The 416-page, full-color training manual is available for sale online and wherever books are sold.

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