20-Minute Total Body Workout

In a short amount of time, circuit training can work your whole body and give you great results.


By Anthony Fowler


In need of a great total body cardio workout? Try circuit training. It is one of the best ways to get a great total body workout in a short amount of time. One of the best benefits to circuit training is the fact that the exercises can vary. It’s not too different from other high intensity interval training like tabatas, though the main exception is that circuit training rounds consist of going through a list of exercises with breaks interwoven. With circuit training you are not required to do the same exercise back to back more than once. It allows for a refreshing and challenging task after each exercise. For this reason, circuit training is helpful especially if you need to do cardio but want to change things up or if you are in an area where you cannot go for a run.

The fact that circuit training builds muscle mass is one of the best aspects of it since building muscle mass helps to burn calories even when you aren't working out. This is because muscle increases the amount of calories your body will burn to sustain itself. According to Mayo Clinic, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does; muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.

It is important that you select the appropriate exercises for your cardio circuit. These exercises should incorporate the whole body in order to get the maximum burn and aerobic benefit. Think about it, do you huff and puff more doing curls or burpees? Choose exercises that incorporate jumping, lunging, and other dynamic whole body movements.

Below is a list of potential exercises to help build your circuit.

  • Squats
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lateral Jumps
  • Plank Jacks
  • High Knees

Keep in mind this will be a difficult workout and you may want to incorporate some easier exercises along with breaks to give yourself a grueling but achievable workout. You should include some abdominal exercises to give you active rest, also ensure you incorporate rest after every five exercises or so. I would recommend 30 seconds. It could look like this:

  • Squats (30 seconds)
  • Lunges (30 seconds)
  • Tuck Jumps (30 Seconds)
  • Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)
  • Crunches (30 seconds)
  • Break (30 seconds)
  • Burpees (30 seconds)
  • Lateral Jumps (30 seconds)
  • Side Lunges (30 Seconds)
  • High Knees (30 seconds)
  • Pushups (30 seconds)
  • Break (30 seconds)

You could continue in this fashion until you get to 20 minutes adding your favorite exercises (I know you have some) as needed or you could just start over at the beginning of the circuit. This will be a great cardio workout and you won’t even need a bouncy aerobics instructor! Just make sure you keep the intensity high. Another option is to use the Azumio Argus app workout setting and just pick a cardio workout. You will be given a sequence of exercises with breaks automatically incorporated. How convenient is that! Say bye bye to excuses and hello to great workouts!

Anthony Fowler is a certified Army Master Fitness Trainer who has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast since he was 19. He has tried everything from Kefir to Tribulus in his quest to gain muscle mass and maintain a healthy lifestyle. He is a husband and father of three, and aspiring chef who enjoys lifting heavy weights, cooking healthy meals, and sharing his knowledge and experiences with anyone who will listen.

Main Photo Credit: Dragon Images/; Second Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/; Third Photo Credit: GaudiLab/