The 8-minute bodyweight circuit is one of the most popular exercises used in fitness centers around the world. There are many reasons why it’s so popular, but there are two main ones: 1) It’s simple to learn and 2) You get results fast!
If you’re interested in learning how to do this exercise correctly, then read on… If not, well I guess you’ll just have to make up your own mind.
What Is The 8-Minute Bodyweight Circuit?
The 8-minute bodyweight circuit is a set of exercises performed for eight minutes. It’s basically a series of movements done in a row with no breaks or rest periods between them. So if you were doing the first four moves, you’d finish off with the last move. (And yes, there are actually some variations. For example, you could start with the second movement and work your way up.)
It’s been described as “a complete bodyweight workout” by a number of experts. And while it may sound like a good idea at first, it isn’t really all that effective when compared to other methods of weight loss.
Let me explain why…
Why Isn’t The 8-Minute Bodyweight Circuit Effective?
First of all, you’re not going to burn as much fat as you think… a lot of it is water weight and the rest will come off gradually over time. You can’t expect to go from one extreme (overweight) to another (skinny) in just a few months. It doesn’t work that way no matter what anyone says.
Second of all, it’s way too repetitive. Humans need variety in their life or they get bored.
After a while, you’re going to get really sick of doing these same 8 exercises over and over again. It won’t be fun anymore and that’s when you start slacking off and your motivation goes away completely.
Third of all, if you’re just starting out then this is going to be way too much for your body to handle. You’re going to feel tired, sore and weak for a while and it’s not going to be pleasant.
It’s best to start off slow when you’re a beginner.
There are also some psychological effects of doing this too. For example, because you’re doing a bunch of reps in a short amount of time, the after-burn effect is going to wear off quicker and you’re not really giving your muscles enough time to recover.
(It takes about 48 hours for your muscles to recover so they grow).
It’s just not a very good way to focus on the muscle groups either because you’re doing to many other things at the same time. You may be putting some strain on them, but it’s not enough to cause any change.
Let’s Talk About The Different Moves:
1. Bodyweight Squats:
This is one of the best exercises you can do and should definitely be kept in your program. However, doing too many in a row is not a good idea and can put undo stress on your knees.
Another great exercise. Again, don’t do too many because you’ll end up with sore arms and shoulders.
Also keep your elbows close to your body to put more emphasis on the chest muscles.
3. Bodyweight Rows:
This is a good exercise for your back, but you can’t really go heavy on it or else you’ll put undo stress on your lower back. Go slow and controlled and stop if you feel any pain.
4. Bodyweight Lunges:
Great exercise. It’s important to work both legs equally though so don’t neglect one side.
If you can actually do multiple sets of more than 5 pull-ups then you’re probably not a beginner. For the rest of us though, going overboard with this move can lead to injury.
Go easy and build up your strength over time.
6. Bodyweight Twists:
This is a good core exercise that can help improve your posture as well as work your obliques.
7. Body Saw:
Not too many people know about this one, but it’s a great ab exercise and works both the upper and lower abs. Just take it slow if it’s your first time doing it.
This is an awesome core exercise and really works the glutes as well. Plus you don’t need any equipment at all!
Keep your knees bent if you have lower back problems.
A Sample Routine:
Three days a week, do the below routine. A short 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool down period should be adequate before and after the exercises.
You can take one day off from the gym altogether or do some light activity such as walking or easy cycling.
Monday: Bodyweight Squats: 10 Reps, 8 Sets
Tuesday: Bodyweight Rows: 12 Reps, 6 Sets
Wednesday: Bodyweight Lunges: 10 Reps, 8 sets
Thursday: Pull-Ups: 8 Reps, 5 sets
Friday: Bodyweight Twists: 15 reps, 5 sets (Take a weight plate and hold it with your feet. Twist to the right as far as you can, then to the left)
Saturday: Body Saw: 10 Reps, 5 sets
Some Other Things to Keep in Mind:
1. Make sure to take a rest day every week!
This is very important in helping your muscles grow. If you don’t give them a chance to rebuild themselves then you aren’t going to get any stronger.
2. Build up slowly.
There’s no need to rush and you don’t want to get injured in the process. If you’ve been slacking off from working out for a long time then you may want to take 2 or 3 weeks just doing the warm up routine I gave you and build up from there.
3. Have fun!
This is supposed to be enjoyable. If you find yourself getting bored, then mix it up a bit.
Throw in some new exercises or change the order of the routine. The important thing is that you’re challenging yourself.
4. Eat plenty of food (but healthy) and get plenty of rest.
It’s amazing how lack of sleep and lots of sweat can wear you down.
Feel free to write me back if you have any questions.
All the best!
The Path to Success:
1. What is the most important thing for a bodybuilder to have in their possession?
A. A good set of hips.
B. A good set of calves.
C. A good set of pecs.
D. A good set of traps.
2. Before doing any exercise, you should always do a _____warm up set before your working set.
3. What is the best type of cardio to do in the morning?
A. Running (1-2 miles)
B. Hiking (2-4 miles)
C. Bicycling (10-40 miles depending on terrain)
D. Swimming (500 yd – 1 mile)
4. For how long should you stretch before and after your workouts?
A. 2-3 minutes before, and 5-10 minutes after
B. 3-4 minutes before, and 1-2 minutes after
C. 5-6 minutes before, and 2-3 minutes after
D. 10-12 minutes before, and 1 minute after
5. What is the best gender distribution for the audience of an amateur bodybuilding competition?
A. 50% Men to 50% Women
B. 70% Men to 30% Women
C. 80% Men to 20% Women
D. 90% Men to 10% Women
6. The name of the condition where one limb is smaller in proportion to the rest of the body than it should be is _____.
B. Jacob’s Syndrome
D. Body Disproportionate
7. What is it called when men place their arms behind their head and arch their backs while lifting?
C. The Pontes Pump
D. The Bench Press Arch
8. A _____ is someone who has an abnormally large chest, shoulders and arms but small or no legs.
A. Tall Man’s Disease
D. Greek God Syndrome
9. What is the proper order of a bodybuilding routine?
A. Shoulders, Chest, Legs, Back, Arms
B. Chest, Back, Legs, Arms, Shoulders
C. Back, Chest, Arms, Legs, Shoulders
D. Chest, Shoulders, Back, Legs, Arms
10. The two most common injuries in bodybuilding are to the:
A. Elbows and Knees
B. Wrists and Ankles
C. Shoulders and Hips
D. Fingers and Thumbs
11. What is the most important part of contest preparation?
12. After a bodybuilding competition, if you had to choose between getting bigger or getting _____, what would you choose?
13. How many days a week should you train if your main goal is to improve your health?
A. 2-3 Days
B. 4-5 Days
C. 6-7 Days
Sources & references used in this article:
Working Towards Powerful Mobile Glutes by J Pilotti – breakingmuscle.com
Take a Break From Weights: How to Train Intuitively by C Stevens – breakingmuscle.com
Muscular exercise, lactic acid, and the supply and utilisation of oxygen.—Parts IV-VI by AV Hill, CNH Long, H Lupton – Proceedings of the …, 1924 – royalsocietypublishing.org
Assessment methods for physical activity and physical fitness in population studies: report of a NHLBI workshop by PWF Wilson, RS Paffenbarger Jr, JN Morris… – American heart …, 1986 – Elsevier
Changes of basal metabolic rate in man in semistarvation and refeeding by F Grande, JT Anderson, A Keys – Journal of applied …, 1958 – journals.physiology.org
Validity of the bromsulphalein (BSP) method for estimating hepatic blood flow by EE Selkurt – American Journal of Physiology-Legacy …, 1953 – journals.physiology.org
Physiological aspects of soccer refereeing performance and training by C Castagna, G Abt, S D’Ottavio – Sports medicine, 2007 – Springer