The summer holiday season is arriving and now if the time so many of us realise we are not quite in the summer body shape we had planned to be. But don’t worry, with this fat burning cardio circuit, it’s not too late! 

The benefits of cardio circuits:

They say 1 minute of cardio is the longest minute of your life!

Circuits provide a way of doing 20 or 30 minutes of cardio without watching the clock tick down on a treadmill. The idea is to break it up into blocks of alternating exercises, each one keeping your heart rate up and your mind off the clock. You can involve anything and adapt them to all gyms or outdoor settings.

The fat burning continues long after your session has stopped and if you refuel your body right, you will be able to maintain or improve your fitness over the holiday months!

Things to make your workout more interesting:

Wear a heart rate monitor or Fit Bit type device of which there are many these days. Track your heart rate or calories and aim to improve on these numbers each session. Trackers such as myzone will identify when you are in your peak heart rate and fat burning zone which means you will know exactly how hard you worked!

Keep a timer handy! This not only allows you to run the circuit more efficiently but also enables you to focus on the session rather than on the time! The stopwatch has got it under control; all you need to do is keep those legs moving!

Make it social! My clients always struggle with getting motivated for cardio so make it easier by partnering up or grabbing a small group of people to do it with.

And now for your fat burning cardio circuit…

The workout:

This workout is based on a standard gym environment, however it can be tweaked for an outdoor session too.

40-second intervals – 20 seconds rest

4 times through


A truly great exercise to keep the heart rate going. Whether you do double-unders or alternating feet, aim to keep those legs moving for the 40 seconds. See how many consecutive skips you can get and challenge your focus! Remember that its only 40 seconds so there’s no stopping to catch your breath, that’s what the rest period is for!


2.Weighted step ups (dumbbells)

Grab a step up box and some dumbbells and challenge yourself to keep the same pace for the 40 seconds. If your gym has a step machine this can also be used if needed. Do your step ups in the middle of the box and make sure your whole foot is placed on the box (no half step ups).

3.High Knees

Super simple and no equipment which makes this super easy to do anywhere. Remember to keep the same pace the whole way through and keep those knees as high as you can throughout the whole interval. If you generally have tight hamstrings or quads, a quick stretch beforehand may help.

4. Ice Skaters

Imagine how an ice skater moves and you’ll have no trouble with this exercise. Jumping from one side to the other with one leg ending up slightly behind you in the air. This move works on your coordination and balance so is a great little challenge at this stage of the circuit.

5. Bike Sprint (Standing)

Time to bring the intensity up a little with a 40-second bike sprint! Jump on and adjust the resistance so that you can sprint without losing control of the pedals. If you are on a spin bike, turn the resistance dial 3-4 times for a good resistance whilst standing. If you have knee or lower joint issues, do the sprint whilst seated.

6.Rower machine sprint

The rower is always the ultimate challenge in a cardio circuit and a great way to end the circuit. Put everything in it and sprint! Push off with your legs and let your arms follow through to your chest. If you have fatigued legs, use your upper body to make the distance and aim to equal or better those meters each time!

I can assure you that if you follow this plan, this fat burning cardio circuit really will work for you and you will be trimmer, more toned and energetic for the summer holiday!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Lisa Dunn


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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans