Circuits can improve overall fitness levels and cardiovascular health. They challenge the body and the mind to work in unison and are a great way to make the most of a quick workout.

Try this intense weighted circuit to build strength and endurance, while toning and tightening the whole body.

Beginners should start with just the barbell and load it gradually as you become more familiar with the movement.

Complete one set of each exercise simultaneously, then take a brief break. Repeat the circuit two more times.

Barbell drop squat (6 to 8 reps)

  • Lightly grip the barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart
  • Step in front of the rack and rest the bar on your trapezius muscles (the muscle closest to your neck and upper back)
  • Position your feet hip-distance apart, then lift the barbell off the rack
  • Take a few steps backwards before shifting your weight into the back of your heels
  • Brace your abdominals and keep your head and neck in a neutral position as you lower yourself into a squat
  • Pause briefly before driving through your heels and pushing yourself back into a standing position for one rep

Barbell thruster (6 to 8 reps)

  • Set the bar in a rack just below shoulder height
  • Rest the bar on top of the front deltoids, pushing it gently into the clavicles
  • Grip the bar with a clean grip (touch the bar only with the fingertips)
  • Un-rack the bar and step away from the rack
  • Position your legs in a shoulder-width medium stance with your toes pointed slightly outward and elbows pointed up at all times
  • Your triceps should remain parallel to the ground, and your back and neck should be in a neutral position
  • Descend into a squat position until your upper legs are parallel to the floor
  • Push through your heels and wrap your fingers tightly around the bar in a firm grip as you ascend upward, pressing the bar towards the ceiling
  • At the top of this position, your arms should be fully extended and your legs straight with a tightness maintained throughout your entire body
  • Lower the bar slowly and descend back into a squat for one rep

Barbell clean and press (6 to 8 reps)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees just inside the arms
  • Grab the barbell with a pronated grip
  • Point your elbows out and keep your arms extended
  • The bar should be close to your shins, and your shoulders should be slightly ahead of the bar
  • Extend the knees and pull the bar upward while moving your hips forward and raising your shoulders
  • As the bar passes the knee, extend at the ankles, knees and hips in a jumping motion to drive the bar upward
  • Guide the bar with your hands and use the momentum to pull the bar as high as possible
  • At the top of this movement, your feet should clear the floor and you should begin to pull yourself under the bar
  • As the bar moves overhead, descend into a squat position before snatching the bar
  • Keep the torso erect and flex the hips and knees to help absorb the weight
  • Stand tall and hold the bar in a clean position
  • Press the bar overhead before exhaling and lowering the bar carefully to the starting position for one rep

Burpee (6 to 8 reps)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in the heels of your feet and your arms at your sides
  • Lower yourself into a squat position, then place your hands on the floor directly in front of your body and just inside your feet
  • Shift your weight into your hands and jump your legs back into a plank position, landing softly on the balls of your feet
  • Jump your feet back, so that they land just outside of your hands and reach your arms overhead before explosively jumping into the air
  • Land softly and immediately lower yourself back into a squat position for one rep

Barbell lunge (6 to 8 reps)

  • Begin by setting the bar on the rack just below shoulder level
  • Step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders across the bar
  • Hold onto the bar using both hands and lift it off the rack
  • Move away from the rack and step forward with your right leg and squat down
  • Be sure to keep the torso upright to maintain balance
  • Push up through the heel of your right foot to return to starting position for one rep