Crank Up Your Metabolism FAST
Fat-Loss Circuit Training

If you're looking to burn fat as fast as humanly possible, Fat-Loss Circuit Training is the BEST place to start.

This is a training technique that you'll feel working WHILE you're training and very strongly AFTER your training session is may even find yourself still overheated with a cranked-up metabolism 3 hours later!

This unique mashing-up of weights and cardio into one workout is, quite simply, phenomenal for fat burning.

In order to use Fat-Loss Circuit Training, you'll need access to both weight equipment and cardio equipment (and/or benches or stairs), preferably located fairly close to each other. Bodyweight training is also ideal for this style of workout.

How Fat-Loss Circuit Training Works:

It's simple... your rest period for weights will be cardio and your rest period for cardio will be your weights. You will be going back and forth between your weight training exercises and cardio exercise for the ENTIRE workout.

Yep, that means basically NO rest the entire time you're in the gym.

This particular combination of weights and cardio is very effective for a number of reasons:

  • It forces your body to burn calories continuously during the workout.
  • That calorie burn is increased due to the constant switching between energy systems in your body (aerobic and anaerobic)
  • It utilizes resistance training and cardio training so you get all the benefits of both in one workout.
  • By forcing your body to work like this, you dramatically increase your metabolism leading to increased fat burning long after the workout (more so than either weights or cardio alone).
  • It saves time - you get both your weights and cardio in the same amount of time as your regular workout.
  • You will still be able to use relatively heavy weights in your weight training, helping to preserve muscle mass.

How To Do Fat-Loss Circuit Training:

Step 1 - The Set Up

For the most efficient workout possible, try to have most or all of your exercises pre-set and ready to go. The less time you spend on preparation during your workout itself, the more effective that workout will be, especially since you want to be continually active throughout the training session. You can use any type of cardio that is convenient and enjoyable to you, be it a machine, stair stepping, or even a skipping rope.

If you are working out in a crowded gym, try to claim an area for yourself and focus on dumbell and barbell exercises while using a Step platform for your cardio training. You won't have to wait in line to use any weight or cardio machines that way.

If you don't have access to convenient cardio machines, you're going to have to go low-tech.

You'll need to do stair-stepping (stepping up two stairs then back down works well), bench-stepping (step up onto a flat bench or Step platform then back down) or rope-jumping (be sure you're not close to anyone if you choose this). These approaches work just as well as (if not better than) cardio machines and allow you to perform this training style in a busier gym setting.

Step 2 - Warm-up

Do a few minutes of low-intensity cardio as a warm-up. You may wish to do a few light sets of a few of the exercises you'll be working with before you start into the main training session. Don't tire yourself out...just get a light sweat going.

Step 3 - Start with 40 seconds of moderate intensity cardio.

This could be setting the machine to a level that is not easy but is not so challenging that you're going to exhaust yourself right away. Watch the timer on your machine and go for 40 seconds.

If you're doing stair or bench stepping, you'll need a timer or view of a clock with the "second" hand visible to keep track of your cardio work periods.

Step 4 - Do a set of weights.

Right after you finish your first "set" of cardio, go as quickly as you can to your first exercise. Do a set of the first exercise on your program for the day. Do this with NO rest, going from the cardio immediately to the weights. Perform reps until you start to approach muscular failure (stay a rep or two short).

The key here is DO NOT push yourself to muscular failure. We want to load the muscles but not overtax your nervous system.

Also, be very sure to use proper form and tempo when lifting the weights. Don't rush your weight sets - perform them with the same form and speed as you would if you were doing a regular set in your training. Fast, light or sloppy weight sets are NOT what we're looking for here.

Step 5 - Go right back to the cardio.

Immediately go back to the cardio and do another 40 seconds of moderate-intensity cardio.

Step 6 - Repeat this cycle for the duration of the workout.

You will be going back and forth continuously between cardio and weight training exercises, using the cardio as the rest period between your weight sets. What this means is that over the course of your workout, you'll be burning calories via cardio and weights AND you'll be working your muscles with intense, heavy weight training as well. It's tough training but very effective!

To give you an idea of what this looks like, here is a sample run-through:

40 seconds cardio
1 set of chest
40 seconds cardio
1 set of chest
40 seconds cardio
1 set of chest
40 seconds cardio
1 set of back
40 seconds cardio
1 set of back

and continue with that pattern...

As you can see you, you'll do all your sets for your first bodypart (with cardio in between, of course), then move to your NEXT bodypart and do all the sets for that bodypart.


  • As you improve your cardio capacity, you can increase the intensity of your cardio training between sets. You may wish to start at a lower level and gradually increase the resistance over the course of the workout or start at a higher level and keep it there. It is perfectly acceptable to keep it at a steady, moderate level, however.

  • This Fat-Loss Circuit technique can be used with nearly any form of cardio exercise as long as it is convenient to go back and forth with the weights. The real key here is to maintain activity for the entire workout. I've done it with stair machines, treadmills, stair-stepping, stationary bike, elliptical machines, and skipping rope.

  • Keep your workouts to no more than 45 minutes at the very most when doing this type of training. It's a very demanding form of training as you'll be working every major energy system in your body. You will also find it will crank your metabolism up quite high!


Sample Fat-Loss Circuit Training Workout

Bodypart Exercise Sets Reps Notes
Back Barbell Bent-Over Rows, Chins, or Seated Cable Rows 6 6-8 Be sure to keep your lower back arched and tight when performing either of these exercises. Inhale you pull instead of exhaling. This will maximize lat contraction.
Chest Flat Barbell or Dumbell Bench Press 6 6-8 Don't bounce the bar off your chest as you lower it down. As well, don't bang the dumbells together at the top.
Biceps Standing Barbell Curls or Dumbell Curls 4 8-10 Squeeze your biceps hard at the top and don't swing the weight. Use a shoulder-width grip on the bar for best biceps contraction.
Triceps Dips, Weighted Dips or Close-Grip Bench Press 4 8-10 If you can do 15 or more bodyweight dips, use weighted dips instead.

Cardiovascular Training
Activity Comments
Fat Loss Circuit Training Move between 40 seconds of cardio work and your weight training sets with no rest. Have everything set up and ready to go with your exercises as much as possible.

General Comments:

  • Choose a weight that allows you to hit the top of the listed rep range on the first set and keep to that weight. As you fatigue, your reps will drop.
  • You can choose any form of cardio you like...treadmill, stair machine, jogging in place, stair stepping, rope jumping, elliptical, etc.
  • Your 40 seconds of cardio should be of moderate intensity, not high intensity.
  • When two exercises are listed here, select from one or the other and do all your sets with it.