Circuit training: 20 minutes total body circuit workout plan

Circuit training: 20 minutes total body circuit workout plan - sharpmuscle
7 min read
Updated: April 25, 2023

Circuit training is a highly effective form of exercise that involves performing a series of exercises in a specific order with little to no rest in between. It is a great way to improve both cardiovascular fitness and strength in a short amount of time. One of the many benefits of circuit training is that it requires minimal equipment, making it an accessible workout for people of all fitness levels.

In this article, we will be sharing a 20-minute total body circuit workout plan that can be done with just a few pieces of equipment, namely a small space, a set of dumbbells, and a bench. With this workout plan, you can improve your muscle endurance, increase your cardiovascular fitness, and achieve your fitness goals in a time-efficient manner. So, let’s get started!

To create a resistance and strength training workout, circuit training is one of the best way. Circuit training is also challenging for your heart and lungs.

There are a ton of benefits in circuit training workouts, including:

  • Circuit training keep boredom at bay: moving quickly from one exercise to another means you do not have time to wander or tune.
  • An all-strength circuit burns 30 percent more calories (about nine per minute) than a normal weight workout and provides cardio benefits.
  • A circuit training workout that combines cardio and strength moves to combine fat and scalp muscles. It can burn up to 10 calories in a minute.
  • This workout is a 20-minute workout that will take you to your maximum heart rate along with your physical hard work.

The purpose of this workout is not to rest between exercises. You will see that in one minute of a particular exercise the target muscle group will be burning and at the same time increase your heart rate to a fat and sugar burning area.

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Try the circuit training of the 20-minute workout below – your only 40 minutes total time in the weight room, if you are not challenging enough to try it again.

You can do this circuit training program four or five times a week, but we recommend that you do no more than three sessions and supplement that with at least one pure cardio session like a treadmill, such as walking or running. Less weight than a pure strength training day.

Follow these simple steps to create the ultimate fat-muscle, muscle-building circuit routine.

Exercise schedule: Perform this circuit training 4 rounds

EXERCISES4 Rounds & 45 seconds each exercise
1. Squat thruster45 seconds
2. Renegade rows45 seconds
3. Dumbbell floor chest press45 seconds
4. Lunge with dumbbell hammer curl45 seconds
5. Tricep dip15 reps
6. Plank leg lift15 reps

1. Squat thruster

Squat thruster – circuit training - sharpmuscle
Squat thruster – circuit training

The squat thruster is a staple in many metabolic conditioning programs as it is a very taxing movement on your muscles, heart and nervous system. 1

This exercise is one of the most popular total-body movements used in circuit training.


  • Grab a dumbbell and bring them back to the front of your body with a little elbow in front of your body.
  • Stand with your legs long, slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Bring your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair to sit.
  • As you drive with your heels to stand up, drive the weight towards the ceiling, fully extending your arms upward.
  • Once at the top, lower the weight back to shoulder level as you begin to descend again with your hips and repeat.

2. Renegade rows

Renegade rows – circuit training - sharpmuscle
Renegade rows – circuit training

The Renegade row is an excellent exercise for circuit training to target the entire upper body and core.

The body part of the exercise requires the engagement of the abdominals, spine, shoulders, and deep stabilizing muscles of the hips, while the line of the exercise targets the upper back and arms, including the larger muscles of the upper back — the lats and the rhomboids – as well as biceps and shoulders.

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  • Place two dumbbells on the floor in a shoulder width position and assume a push-up position with hands on the handle.
  • Also note that the dumbbell handles are parallel to each other.
  • Keep the weight near you by pulling the right hip bone towards the right hip. Gently return it to the floor and repeat with the left dumbbell.
  • Your glutes and abs during this should be contract. Tighten your supporting leg. Keep your body parallel (do not bend your hips).

3. Dumbbell floor chest press

Dumbbell floor chest press – circuit training - sharpmuscle
Dumbbell floor chest press – circuit training

When it comes to shoulder-friendly upper body exercises, there is no one better than a dumbbell floor press.

The dumbbell floor chest press is a pressing exercise similar to the bench press, but it uses the floor instead of the bench.

This helps the triceps work harder than before, which relieves the stress placed on your shoulder joints.


  • Place a pair of dumbbells on the floor. Lie on your back in the middle of the dumbbell. Bend your knees and move feet towards your butt.
  • Grab the dumbbells and place them on yourself. Allow your upper arms to stay on the floor.
  • Start the movement by pushing the dumbbell on your chest. Stop at the top and squeeze your chest muscles.
  • Slowly bring the weight back to the starting position, allowing your arms to rest for a brief moment before the start of the next repetition.

4. Lunge with biceps hammer curl

Lunge with dumbbell hammer curl – circuit training - sharpmuscle
Lunge with dumbbell hammer curl – circuit training

It is a compound movement in that give the features in your lungs and biceps curl.

This exercise strengthens your glutes. This means tighter, higher, more compact. But exercise also targets your hamstrings, quadriceps, inner thighs, biceps, and lower back.


  • Keep your feet tall with hip-width distance. Hold a dumbbell in your hand at each side.
  • Step forward with the right foot as you bend the elbow into a hammer curl.
  • Lower your hips’ til both knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle. Keep the front knee directly above the ankle, and tap the left knee only on the floor.
  • Keep weight in your heels, as you push back to the starting position, completing one rep.
  • Repeat this time with the left foot and complete the second double.
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5. Tricep dip

Tricep dip – sharpmuscle
Tricep dip – circuit training

Triceps dip is one of the most effective exercises for activating the triceps muscle in your upper arm. Also, you should activate your core while keeping your core off the ground.

Triceps are used for pushing, and you will include them in any daily activities that require pushing. Also, you want to keep your body in balance.

If you participate in sports that use a lot of pulling action, then you also want to maintain strength in your triceps.


  • Hold the front edges of a bench with your hand.
  • Raise your buttock and in front of the seat, feet flat, and bend the legs so that the thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Straighten your arms. This is your starting position.
  • Lower your body toward the floor until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
  • Then, attach your triceps to press back to begin.
  • This is one repetition, a total of 15 reps to do.

6. Plank leg lift

Plank leg lift – sharpmuscle
Plank leg lift – circuit training

The advance level of plank leg lift not only works your butt, but it also makes your basic work even harder to stabilize your torso.

In a Planck leg lift, you will work your entire body, all at once.


  • Start in a plank position with your arms folded and your weight in your forearms.
  • Engage your core and keep your body straight from your head down to your heel.
  • Keeping your pelvis parallel to the floor, raise your left leg off the floor.
  • Hold for three seconds, then lower the leg. Repeat on the other side.
  • This completes one delegate. Do 15 reps each leg.


  1. Feito Y, Hoffstetter W, Serafini P, Mangine G. “Changes in body composition, bone metabolism, strength, and skill-specific performance resulting from 16-weeks of HIFT.” PLoS One. 2018 Jun 15;13(6):e0198324. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198324. PMID: 29906290; PMCID: PMC6003684.[]

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