It's time to challenge your body. Cardio doesn't need to be done on a treadmill, bike, or in an aerobics room with some super-caffeinated girly-girl yelling at you to pedal a Spinning bike 390 r.p.m.

Maybe you've already gotten the interval cardio thing figured out, but you're still using a bike or a treadmill to get your heart rate up. Even those workouts can get really boring, really fast. It's time to change things up!

Here's a bodyweight circuit that won't put too much demand on your muscles, but will get your heart rate cranked up while challenging your body like nothing you've done before.

This workout should be done on days when you're not doing strength training, but this shouldn't take the place of it. It should, however, take the place of your plain, old cardio workout.

This training is done interval-style. Your heart rate will increase, then you'll recover, and then you'll repeat the process. This is the most effective type of fat burning cardio you can do!

Be sure to get set up in front of a clock, or have a stopwatch handy, so you can accurately track your work and rest times. Also, be sure to have your training notebook nearby. Unlike regular workouts, this one does sets for time instead of reps. It's very important that you record how many reps you complete with each exercise so you can keep track of improvements.

Go as hard as you can through the entire workout. Your heart rate should get to a level where you're breathing hard and you can't carry on a full conversation or chit-chat about the latest celeb gossip.

Perform this workout two times per week, and really push yourself to progress and do more reps in the same amount of time with each consecutive workout.

This plan is made up of four circuits, each consisting of four exercises. You'll perform the four exercises in order, one after another, but with special rest periods: Do A1, immediately followed by A2, rest 1 minute, and then move on to A3, immediately followed by A4, then you rest 2 minutes before repeating again with A1.

Then repeat from 1A again right through before you move on to the next circuit of 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D.

The Bodyweight Metabolic Circuit

Exercise Sets Work
A1) Static squat in and out jump 1-2 1 minute
A2) Prone cross-toe 1-2 1 minute
Rest 1 minute    
A3) Split jack 1-2 1 minute
A4) One-leg burpee (alternate legs each rep) 1-2 1 minute
Rest 2 minutes    
B1) Mountain climber 1-2 1 minute
B2) Bodyweight squat (or jump squat) 1-2 1 minute
Rest 1 minute    
B3) Inch worm 1-2 1 minute
B4) Spider-man climb 1-2 1 minute
Rest 2 minutes    
C1) Over/under 1-2 30 seconds with each leg
C2) 5-dot drill 1-2 1 minute
Rest 1 minute    
C3) Bicycle crunch 1-2 1 minute
C4) Explosive step-up 1-2 1 minute
Rest 2 minutes    
D1) Skiers on Swiss ball 1-2 30 seconds with each leg
D2) Lateral step-out 1-2 1 minute
Rest 1 minute    
D3) Swiss ball alternating step-off 1-2 1 minute
D4) Jump lunge 1-2 1 minute
Rest 2 minutes    

Exercise Descriptions

There's a good chance you haven't heard of some of the exercises I'm suggesting because they're from my little black book of torture methods, um... I mean, exercises my clients love and look forward to.

Static Squat In and Out Jump

While holding a semi-squat position, jump both feet out to the sides (when you land, you're in a wide-stance squat), and then quickly bring both feet back in to the center. That completes one rep. Remember to keep the legs bent in a half-squat the entire time.

Prone Cross-Toe Touch

From a push-up position, bring one foot across your body to touch the opposite side's hand, and then return to the full push-up position. Alternate sides for each rep (one right and one left is one rep).

Split Jack

Think of these as jumping jacks for the 21st century. Instead of hopping laterally, you're going to stay in place, but skip front and back while moving opposing arms and legs to keep your balance (right arm and left leg go forward while the left arm and right leg go backwards.) It requires a little coordination, but you should be able to get into a good rhythm during your set.

One-Leg Burpee

With one foot slightly off the ground (it stays off the ground the entire time), stand up tall with arms overhead. Squat down and put your hands on the floor, jump your leg back and land on the ball of your foot, and then reverse the process (jump the foot in and stand up tall). Switch feet with each new rep.

Mountain Climber

From a push-up position, quickly bring one knee in towards your chest, return to the push-up position, and then bring the other knee into your chest. You should be able to crank these reps out fast, fast, fast.

Bodyweight Squat (or Jump Squat)

Nothing fancy here. Cross your arms in front of your body and perform a standard squat, as far down as your flexibility will allow. If basic squats aren't challenging enough, do jump squats instead — actually jumping straight up in the air at the top of each rep.

Inch Worm

Bend forward and place your hands on the ground just in front of your toes. You're your weight onto your hands and "walk" your hands forward until you're reaching out as far as you can, and then "walk" your hands back to the starting position.

Spider-Man Climb

For this one, imagine that the floor has just become the outside wall of a skyscraper and you've just become the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, climbing up to the rooftop. From a push-up position, bring one knee up towards the elbow on the same side, and then return to start. Alternate sides with each rep.


From a standing position, take a big step over an imaginary rope about waist-high, then duck under an imaginary rope about waist-high and stand back up. See where this exercise gets its name? Alternate stepping legs with each rep.

5-Dot Drill

I hope you're in a dancing mood for this one; it might remind you of the hokey-pokey. From "position one" (standing upright, with feet together), take a small jump forward and land with your feet wide, then jump back to "position one."

Immediately take a small jump backwards, landing with your feet wide, and then jump back to "position one." That's all one rep — Start at position one, jump forward, return to position one, jump backwards, return to position one.

Bicycle Crunch

A classic ab exercise. Really crank out those reps quickly and focus on bringing alternate knees and elbows into the center.

Explosive Step-up

Similar to a basic step-up (where the leg on the step does all the work), but focus on exploding into the air at the top of the rep and switching feet just before you land. Alternate legs with each rep.

Skiers on Swiss Ball

With your shins on top of a Swiss ball and your hands in a push-up position, imagine you're a doing the slalom down a snowy Colorado ski slope. Focus on twisting with the abs, but stay on top of the ball (no wipeouts!)

Lateral Step-Out Squat

Begin in a semi-squat position, and take a wide step out to the side with one foot. Return to center and immediately repeat with the other leg/to the other side. You can develop a rhythm with this, almost tick-tocking as you go, but be sure to maintain that semi-squat position.

Swiss Ball Alternating Step-Off

With your shins/shoelaces up on a Swiss ball and your hands in a push-up position, bring one foot off the ball to quickly touch the ground, then return it up on top of the ball and repeat with the other leg.

Jump Lunge

Similar to a basic forward lunge, except that after lunging forward with one leg, you're going to explosively jump up into the air, switch legs before you land, and immediately repeat with the other leg.


No more boring treadmills, Stairmasters, or spinning your wheels like a hamster! Now you can use metabolic circuits to challenge your body and see changes like never before.

Be sure to push yourself out of your comfort zone when doing this routine. You'll rev up your metabolism and create an afterburn effect that will increase your metabolism for the next 24-48 hours.

Get metabolic and burn, baby, burn!