30 Minutes to Fitness: Lean Body Circuits

leanbodycircuitsKelly Coffey-Meyer‘s new workouts arrived! I couldn’t wait to try them out. The trailers for both of them look awesome! The other new workout DVD is Cardio Pump–that review should be posting early next week. Lean Body Circuits is very similar to Circuit Burn which is one of my all time favorite workouts by Kelly. Even tho I thoroughly enjoyed Lean Body Circuits, it isn’t better than Circuit Burn. I’ll get to my opinion of why here in a second.

But first, let me break down exactly what Lean Body Circuits is. Just like all of Kelly’s 30 Minutes to Fitness DVDs, Lean Body Circuits contains two 30 minute workouts. As the title suggests they are circuit workouts that combine cardio and strength into a metabolic strength workout. Each workout contains 4 circuits and each circuit has 4 components; each component is done for approximately one minute: cardio (she calls it “Hi-Lo”), boxing, lower body strength and upper body strength–in that order. For the strength work you lift heavy. Kelly and crew only have one set of dumbbells–Kelly and another crew member are using 20 pound dumbbells, two female crew members are using 15 pound dumbbells and the one male crew member is a using 25 pound dumbbells. I used 20 pound dumbbells like Kelly and I found that sufficient to get an excellent workout; however, in the future, I will use 25-30 pound dumbbells for the the majority of the lower body moves and I will use a 25 pound dumbbell for one of the upper body moves–but for the rest of the upper body exercises (and 1 or 2 of the lower body exercises), 20 pounds was sufficiently challenging! Since there is boxing, I also wore 2 pound weighted gloves throughout both workouts since there is no time to take weighted gloves off. I also did the premix that combines both workouts into a 52 minute circuit workout.

Now, let me compare Lean Body Circuits to Circuit Burn. First, one thing that is better about Lean Body Circuits is that every circuit is unique (but that can also be a negative–more on that in a second) whereas in Circuit Burn each 30 minute workout has 2 circuits that are repeated. So there is more variety in Lean Body Circuits, but if you are looking to actually fatigue a muscle group, hitting it once for one minute will not suffice. At least in Circuit Burn you hit the muscle groups you’re working with the same exercise twice. Another thing I like better about Circuit Burn is the structure–it alternates strength with cardio whereas Lean Body Circuits does two cardio components (Hi-Lo and boxing) followed by two strength components. I prefer the way Circuit Burn structures it. I was hoping there would be a premix that changed the structure to the same as Circuit Burn, but alas, there isn’t. There are, however, lots of excellent premixes. And finally, Circuit Burn has an excellent core bonus. No core on Lean Body Circuits.

Nevertheless, Lean Body Circuits is still excellent and effective and I love it. Both workouts have the same warm up but different stretches. As always, there is a modifier showing low impact or less advanced versions of the exercises. You need at least one set of heavy dumbbells and weighted gloves if you want to add more intensity to your boxing.

Workout #1 is 28:30 minutes long with a 4 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch.

Circuit 1: cardio: low jacks, high jacks and pop squats; boxing: double jabs, hooks and upper cuts; lower body: squats; upper body: thrusters (bring dumbbells to shoulders; drop into a shallow quick squat and push dumbbells overhead)

Circuit 2: cardio: “popping” reverse lunges, hops while pushing arms overhead; boxing: jab, upper cut, hook, upper cut, “slip,” “slip,” and repeat on other side (the slips are boxer hops that change you to the other lead); lower body: deadlifts; upper body: renegade rows, except instead of being in plank, you’re in a “beast” pose–get on hands and knees (except hands are holding dumbbells) but with toes planted on ground and knees raised a few inches off the floor.

Circuit 3: cardio: jog, jump shot, shuffle, jumping butt kick (rock star jumps); boxing: 8 jabs, lean and hook each side; lower body: rocking side lunge (holding one dumbbell, step out to side and side lunge side to side 3 times, step back to center and repeat on other side); upper body: you do a clean and press, except rather than an overhead press, you bend at the elbows bringing the tops of the dumbbells to your shoulders.

Circuit 4: cardio: 2 side steps, 2 insoles, 4 hamstring curls; boxing: 2 jabs, 2 hooks, 2 upper cuts, jack legs; lower body: reverse lunge, lift back leg, lower back to lunge then stand; alternate legs; upper body: get into plank with hands on dumbbells, do push up, jump feet wide and forward into pike, do shoulder push up, jump feet back to plank, keep alternating

Workout 2 is 29:30 long with 4 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch.

Circuit 1: cardio: squat, knee circle, heel click (jump and tap heels together), 4 knee pulls; boxing: turn to side and do 8 jab/cross, two squat/upper cuts, one squat then 180 jump so you are facing the other side–repeat; lower body: two static lunges then change sides; upper body: snatches with one dumbbell

Circuit 2: cardio: 4 skaters, 4 narrow scissors, 4 wide scissors; boxing: 3 fast jabs alternating leads (one set each lead) then squat jump to the side and back; lower body: frog squats (hold one dumbbell in both hands at small of back; lower into squat then never raise upper body, your are basically going from squat to deadlift position with the upper body always bent over w/ straight back); upper body: lower into plie squat, still holding only one dumbbell; stay in plie squat with torso upright and alternate back rows

Circuit 3: cardio: 4 jump rope, long jump, jack feet back; boxing: double crosses, lean/bob torso side to side bringing elbows to knees (hands are in guard, this is a core move), punch down 8 times; lower body: pop squats with one dumbbell (hold dumbbell in both hands and legs are wide, squat and touch dumbbell to floor, stand and jack feet in and out); upper body: curl chops (still holding one dumbbell in both hands, curl it up toward one shoulder; alternate shoulders)

Circuit 4: cardio: 2 knee raises, side kick and jumping jack–alternate sides; boxing: jab/cross, hook/hook, jab/cross–alternate sides; lower body: squat and at bottom of squat, raise one foot and lift forward (alternating one leg squats); upper body: push up to frog squat (do push ups with hands on dumbbells then jump into deep squat (never standing, staying in squat) keeping hands on dumbbells even in squat) then back to plank

Premixes (all premixes have warm up and stretch):

Combined workouts (It’s listed as 52 minutes but it is actually 51 minutes)

Lean Body Weights (27 minutes)

Lean Body Cardio (32 minutes)

Lean Body Hi-Lo (20 minutes)

Lean Body Boxing (20 minutes)

Lean Body Legs (17 minutes)

Lean Upper Body (18 minutes)

Combined Workouts (no Hi-Lo) (39 minutes)

Combined Workouts (no Boxing) (39 minutes)

Combined Workouts (no Legs) (43 minutes)

Combined Workouts (no Upper Body) (42 minutes)

Hi-Lo and Legs (30 minutes)

Boxing and Legs (30 minutes)

Hi-Lo and Upper Body (30 minutes)

Boxing and Upper Body (31 minutes)


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