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Bodyweight + Dumbbell Metabolic Circuits II

Bodyweight + Dumbbell Metabolic Circuits II

By Sarah Rippel

Author of “Home Program Design Mastery,” “The Ultimate Group Training System,” “Build ‘N Burn 2.0,” & “Build ‘N Burn

 

In my first article of this series, I outlined three-week progressions for three separate workouts. For part two, I wanted to touch on the strategies that are employed to tweak these workouts across the three-week span!

 

Let’s look at Workout #1. I arranged the exercises in this circuit so that a “strength” exercise is followed by an “explosive” exercise. There’s no magic in doing this, although I like the fact that a slower tempo is used for the strength exercises whereas the explosive exercises are more intense.

 

Let’s look at each exercise itself and how things progress over the three weeks for Workout #1, which is a 12-minute AMRAP that stays at that same duration each week. 

 

Workout #1: 3-Week Progression

Week 1: AMRAP x 12 Minutes:

  1. Goblet Squat @32X1 Tempo x 5
  2. Benign Burpee with Wide Feet (step-back or jump-back) x 5
  3. Reverse Lunge @31X1 Tempo (BW or DB Front-Load) x 5/side
  4. DB Vertical Chop x 10

 

Week 2: AMRAP x 12 Minutes:

  1. Goblet Squat in Sprinter Stance @32X1 Tempo x 3-4/side
  2. Benign Burpee with Feet Hip-Width (step-back or jump-back) x 5-6
  3. Reverse Lunge @21X1 Tempo (BW or DB Front-Load) x 6-8/side
  4. DB Vertical Chop x 12

 

Week 3: AMRAP x 12 Minutes:

  1. DB Front-Load Squat in Sprinter Stance @31X1 Tempo x 4-6/side
  2. Benign Burpee with Feet Together (step-back or jump-back) x 6-8
  3. Reverse Lunge @21X1 Tempo (DB Front-Load or Suitcase) x 8-10/side
  4. DB Vertical Chop in Sprinter Stance x 6/side

 

Workout #1 / Exercise 1: 

The first exercise is a squat. The basic goblet squat is used in week 1 with a tempo of @32X1. Keep in mind that a tempo prescription is always noted as “@ABCD” with A being the eccentric phase of the movement, B any pause in the bottom position, C being the concentric phase, & D being any pause in the top position. This particular tempo of @32X1 means: 3 seconds lowering, 2 second pause in the bottom position, strong concentric phase to return to standing, & 1 second pause at the top. 

 

In week 2, the goblet squat moves to a sprinter stance, which shifts the bilateral movement to one that is more unilateral. The forward leg takes on 60% of the work while the rear leg does 40%. The tempo remains the same from week 1. In week 3, we move from the goblet-loaded position to a front-load, and the tempo changes slightly to @31X1. Reps increase across the three weeks.

 

Workout #1 / Exercise 2:

The benign burpee is the second exercise. The progression I chose to use with this exercise involves range of motion. In week 1 a wide stance is used, which places the body closer to the ground, thus decreasing the range of motion needed to perform the movement. We move to a hip-width stance in week 2 and then a close stance in week 3, which increases the range of motion noticeably from week 1. Reps increase across the three weeks.

 

Workout #1 / Exercise 3:

The reverse lunge is performed at a tempo of @31X1 in week 1, which requires 3 seconds to descend towards the ground. A slower tempo comes in handy when you wish to increase the demand on the body without a ton of weight. Keep in mind that slowing down the eccentric phase of exercises can lead to increased soreness, so I feel it is wise to always suggest bodyweight for beginners on exercises such as this! In addition, range of motion is an easy tweak. The tempo increases slightly to @21X1 in weeks 2 and 3. Reps increase across the three weeks.

 

Workout #1 / Exercise 4:

The dumbbell vertical chop is a simple yet impactful “explosive” exercise. I like it because it requires total-body recruitment and hits the hips & core big time! The reps increase from week 1 to week 2, and then we move to a sprinter stance in week 3, thus increasing the frontal plane demand on the body. In other words, shifting to more of a unilateral stance means the body has to resist forces acting on it to wobble or flex side to side.

 

Keep in mind that the previous week’s variation can always be used as a regression for any of the exercises!

 

Let’s move on to Workout #2!
T
his circuit uses timed intervals and moves from a 30/30 interval in week 1 to 35/25 in week 2 and finally 40/20 in week 3.

 

Workout #2: 3-Week Progression

Week 1: 30/30 Interval x 3 Rounds:

  1. DB Front-Load Sprinter Squat (L)
  2. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (L)
  3. DB Front-Load Sprinter Squat (R)
  4. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (R)
  5. Step Jacks or Jumping Jacks

 

Week 2: 35/25 Interval x 3 Rounds:

  1. DB Front-Load or Shouldered Sprinter Squat (L) *Hold both DBs on shoulder
  2. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (L)
  3. DB Front-Load or Shouldered Sprinter Squat (R)
  4. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (R)
  5. Step Jacks or Jumping Jacks

 

Week 3: 40/20 Interval x 3 Rounds:

  1. DB Shouldered Sprinter Squat (L)
  2. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (L)
  3. DB Shouldered Sprinter Squat (R)
  4. DB 1-Arm Overhead Press in ½-Kneel (R)
  5. Step Jacks or Jumping Jacks

 

Workout #2 / Exercises 1 & 3:

The sprinter stance squat is the first exercise as well as the third. The progression employed across the three weeks involves loading position, as we move from a front-load position to shouldered. The shouldered position loads one side of the body and with sufficient weight, can really challenge one’s ability to stay upright!

 

Workout #2 / Exercises 2 & 4:

The dumbbell 1-arm overhead press in half-kneeling is kept the same across the three weeks. The increasing work interval means that more reps will be performed from week to week. With it being a 1-arm variation, for those who are working with outdoor groups and limited equipment, this provides an opportunity for people to hold two dumbbells in one hand, thus enabling heavier loading!

 

Workout #2 / Exercise 5:

As with the overhead press, I didn’t change the step jacks/jumping jacks for the sole reason that the work interval increases with each week.

 

Finally, let’s take a look at Workout #3!

This circuit is an AMRAP which increases from 10 minutes in week 1 to 14 minutes in week 3.

 

Workout #3: 3-Week Progression

Week 1: AMRAP x 10 Minutes

  1. DB Front-Load Alternating Step-Up x 8-10/side
  2. DB 1-Arm Row in Bilateral Stance x 10-12/side
  3. Hamstring Walk-Outs x 2-4
  4. High Plank Hand March or Hand Switch x 6-8/side

 

Week 2: AMRAP x 12 Minutes

  1. DB Cross-Body Alternating Step-Up (Front-Load + Suitcase) x 8-10/side
  2. DB 1-Arm Row in Sprinter or Bilateral Stance x 12/side
  3. Hamstring Walk-Outs x 4-6
  4. High Plank Hand Switch or Shoulder Taps x 8-10/side

 

Week 3: AMRAP x 14 Minutes

  1. DB Suitcase Step-Up x 8-10/side
  2. DB 1-Arm Row in Sprinter Stance x 12-15/side
  3. Hamstring Walk-Outs x 6-8
  4. High Plank Shoulder Taps x 10-12/side

 

Workout #3 / Exercise 1:

The step-up is the first exercise in this circuit. Reps are kept constant across the weeks, but the loading positions change. We move from a front-load position to cross-body to suitcase.

 

Workout #3 / Exercise 2:

The dumbbell 1-arm row moves from bilateral stance in week 1 for 10-12 reps/side to sprinter stance in week 2 for 12 reps/side and finally sprinter stance for 12-15 reps/side in week 3.

 

Workout #3 / Exercise 3:

The hamstring walk-out is a KILLER. Trust me. The reps increase from week to week with this exercise. The individual can adjust their range of motion.

 

Workout #3 / Exercise 4:

In week 1 the high plank hand march or hand switch are options for 6-8 reps/side. In week 2 we progress to the hand switch or shoulder taps for 8-10 reps/side, and in week 3 shoulder taps are performed for 10-12 reps/side.

 

I hope that this breakdown helps illustrate my rationale for the 3-week progressions! Little tweaks can make a big difference in terms of overall intensity! Being smart about these modifications means you will be able to adjust exercises on the fly for any individual if need be! 

 

Until next time, here’s to some kick-ass workouts in 2021!

 

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Check out top level programming by Sarah Rippel :

 

Home Program Design Mastery plus Done for You programs,templates and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Small Group Training System”  The most Comprehensive Guide to Semi-Private and Small Group Training for Fit Pros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build N’ Burn  – Done For YOU 16 Wk Metabolic Group Training Program for Fit Pros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out The Done-for-You 12 week Build ‘N Burn 2.0 for Fit Pros:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Other articles by Sarah Rippel:

Using a Tempo Focus with Build ‘N Burn Workouts

 30:30 Turkey “Burner” AB Circuit

New Creative Conditioning Circuits Part 1

How To Progress Conditioning Workouts: Part 3

Strongman Cardio 

Mechanical Drop Sets: Programming Ideas

KISS Principle for Group Training+(3x3x3 Circuit Workout)

Deceptively Devious Conditioning Circuit

The Smart Program Design Series: Incorporating Variety & Making Progression Seamless Part 5 – Selecting Exercises for Conditioning Work

SGT Workout Breakdown- Program 4  Part 1

The Conditioning Based Warm-Up: 10 Minute EMOM

SGT Workout Breakdown Program 4 – Part 2

Metabolic Circuit Revamp V1.0

Unconventional Cardio: Strongman Conditioning Circuits

Density Training for Metabolic Conditioning & Strength Work

Using Cluster Sets To Spice Up Strength Programming

4 Wall Ball Conditioning Workouts+4 Tips to Improve Wall Ball Technique(Videos)

Using a Tempo Focus with Build ‘N Burn Workouts

Speed Ladder + Static Core Continuous 30-Second Circuit Version 2.0

Alternating EMOMs for Small Group Training

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