Forget “confusing your muscles” and, instead, practice consistency.
“Most people get a little too carried away and think you need to do a different exercise each time you work out,” says Sam Stauffer, Spartan’s head of training. “Your central nervous system is what programs your movement patterns, and you need time and practice with any movement or exercise for your mind to program it correctly and safely.”
It just so happens that’s exactly what you’re going to do with this circuit workout, courtesy of Stauffer. Try tackling it seven days in a row, and you’ll see just how effective training can be. On day 1, perform just one round. “No matter how much you want to continue on in day 1, don't,” he says. “Allow the progression to take hold,” and tack on an extra round each day until, on day 7, you’re churning out 7 rounds.
Then, take a recovery day (or two)! “Typically, you will want to ensure that you take rest days throughout the week in a training regimen, but there are some weeks where you can test yourself and pour it on,” he says.
7-Day Circuit Workout to Build Real Strength
Set up a course or set your watch to run 400 meters (aka 0.25 miles), then gun it. Focus on maintaining strong form and an RPE of about 8 on a scale from 1 to 10.
The goal here is to maintain a hollow-body position and a braced core at all times. If cranking out 10 in a row isn’t in the cards, try eccentric pull-ups: Jump to help raise your chest to the bar, and then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and the more slowly you lower, the harder it will be.
Own a strong plank position during every rep: Squeeze your core, glutes, and lats. Make sure to set up so that, as you lower, your forearms are perpendicular, or at least close to perpendicular, with the floor. Upper-body-elevated push-ups are a great regression. You can also try eccentric push-ups for a major burn.
10 Reverse Lunges (Per Side)
Hold your arms in front of your chest for a counterbalance, and focus on maintaining control and balance at all times. If that’s a struggle, you can try split-squats, setting up in a staggered stance and then moving up and down without raising your back foot or stepping. Another option is air squats.