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Fall Cardio Strength Circuit Workout

Fall is my favorite season for outdoor workouts. I find crisp days with low humidity to be energizing and love the beautiful scenery created by the changing colors of the leaves.

Last Thursday I wanted to get a cardio and weights workout in but had no desire to be in the gym on a gorgeous fall afternoon. I got creative and put together a cardio strength circuit that could be performed at our neighborhood park. The great thing about this workout is that you don’t need any special equipment – just your own body weight and a playground, park or even your own backyard! I guarantee that your heart rate will be through the roof and your muscles will be trembling.

Fall Cardio Strength Circuit Workout
(See video below for demonstrations of each exercise.)

– 12 t-pushups (6 each side)
25 jump squats
– 15 tricep dips
– Walking lunges (20 down, 20 back)
– 20 burpees
– Single leg squats (15 each leg)
– 15 hanging knee tucks (if you don’t have anything to hang from, sub in another ab exercise)
– Sprint (25 yards down and back)

***Perform circuit 3 times through.***

Let me know if you try the workout. I would love your feedback! 🙂

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Laura @ LauraLikesDesign October 10, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Ooo this is great! Can you write this out with the number of reps for each and post it?

    • Jen October 10, 2011, 10:18 pm

      hey there! i’m glad you like the workout! the written workout is in the post above the video with the list of exercises and details on reps. is that what you needed?

      • Laura @ LauraLikesDesign October 12, 2011, 7:38 am

        That is perfect! Thanks so much! I’m going to write it out on a notecard and take it outside this week. Thanks, Jen!

  • Fit Chick Britt October 10, 2011, 10:18 pm

    I’m definitely trying this this week. Thanks!

  • JennyV October 10, 2011, 10:21 pm

    I just retweeted this post b/c it’s awesome. I obviously have not tried it as it was just posted — but it looks like a great mix that will keep your heartrate up! (Anything with burpees in it gets me every time!)

    • Jen October 10, 2011, 10:23 pm

      thanks for the RT! i hear ya on the burpees…omg they make me feel like i’m dying every time!

  • Erinn October 10, 2011, 11:17 pm

    Thank you for the workout! This is perfect for the nice, fall weather (even in Arizona). I am so excited to get outside and get started!

  • Ally Garner October 11, 2011, 1:00 am

    I just added cross-training to my Fall goals and was in desperate need for some advice & a change-up to my same old run or swim workouts. This is perfect. I’m seriously doing your sets tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:43 pm

      yay ally! let me know how it goes please!

      • Ally Garner October 13, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Guurl, your workout kicked my fanny. I did it after a neighborhood 3 mile run. But I feel great! I even had to girls come up & ask me about the sets. I pointed them to your blog, of course & gave them my cheat sheet notecard. Thank you again! This is definitely my new go-to. Really appreciate you sharing this!

  • Leah October 11, 2011, 6:08 am

    I thought this was great Jen! I like that you just did an example of each workout, instead of the full set. It makes it easier to copy and go. I would love more like these!

    If you’re taking recommendations, I’d love a basic daily free weight strength routine that I can do at home, preferably something that touches on all the major muscles but I’m not picky!

    Keep it up!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:44 pm

      leah – thanks so much for the suggestion. i will add that to the “blog topic” list! 😉

  • carrie October 11, 2011, 7:18 am

    I’m so glad that you posted this! I think there are times when I just need to see someone perform the exercise in instructional format isntead of worrying that I am already on behind because I needed to see how it’s done. Way to go girl!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:44 pm

      thanks carrie! 😀

  • Holly October 11, 2011, 7:45 am

    Oh those burpees! I’ve tried those before. SO HARD.

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:44 pm

      omg…burpees own my soul.

  • Jill @ justfocuswell October 11, 2011, 9:14 am

    Thanks for this workout! I am always trying to figure out workouts to do when I can’t get into the gym that day.

    P.S. Can I please have your arms?! They look amazing!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:45 pm

      thanks girl! glad you enjoyed the workout!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) October 11, 2011, 9:21 am

    Oh I can’t wait to try this! And thanks for the demo- I never know what all those moves are called 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Anastasia October 11, 2011, 9:29 am

    I love that you’re posting workouts now! This one looks really great and I am going to try it later today. Unfortunately it’s raining outside today, but this is perfect for indoors with just a couple of moves subbed. Thanks for the workout!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:46 pm

      thanks anastasia! i’m really excited to be posting them for y’all. let me know what you think!

  • Brooke @ Veggie Table October 11, 2011, 9:58 am

    Thank you so much for posting this video! Honestly, I had no idea what half the exercises on that list meant but after watching, this is definitely something I can do in the backyard!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:43 pm

      i always find videos to be a great way to learn new exercises so i didn’t want to post this without it! it is something you can do anywhere!

  • Brindi October 11, 2011, 10:24 am

    Cannot wait to start this new routine! so excited!! thank you!

  • Jillian October 11, 2011, 10:35 am

    I love the video and the step-by-step instructions! I often look at fitness magazines for new workout ideas but then I end up spending half the time trying to figure out the description/pictures and wondering if I am even doing them correctly!! haha. I’m looking forward to more videos like this in the future! I love that your blog is so multidimensional. Congrats on your new career path as well! You will do great things.

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:42 pm

      jillian – i always have to watch videos of new exercises to understand them. i struggle with pictures sometimes.

      i’m really enjoying the variety of blog content and not feeling chained to one topic. happy to hear that it is resonating with my readers too! 🙂

  • jamie@cueyourlife October 11, 2011, 11:00 am

    This is great! On days I run shorter distances, I also think, “I should really do something else too.” This will be perfect! : ) Thanks!

  • Laura October 11, 2011, 11:01 am

    do you have any suggestions for what to do in place of hanging knee tucks? for some reason, exercises like that really aggravate my hip flexors and i end up gripping them (painfully!) instead of using my core (this happens no matter how hard i try to strengthen my core!).

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:40 pm

      hi laura – any kind of ab exercise. you could just hold a plank or forearm plank (shoot for one minute!) or bring a towel and do some sort of crunch.

      • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:40 pm

        oh and in you crunch lift your heels and just rest the weight on your toes to take the strain out of your hip flexors.

  • Kim October 11, 2011, 11:17 am

    Thanks so much Jen for taking the time to post this workout and video! I do love the Body Pump class at our gym but have found myself falling into the trap of making a ton of excuses as to why I can’t make it to the early morning class. After some serious internal debate this morning when the alarm went off at 5am, I willed myself out of bed and outside to do this workout. I’m sure I entertained some of my early rising neighbors and runners while I did this workout on our front lawn and sidewalk.;) What a great workout and the perfect way to start my day!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:39 pm

      kim – YAY! i’m so excited to hear that you did this workout…AT 5 AM! you are amazing!!!

  • Jen@foodfamilyfitness October 11, 2011, 11:59 am

    Can’t wait to try this! It’s perfect for me to do at the park instead of just sitting there watching the kids play. Thank you 🙂

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:38 pm

      i think it’s a great idea for you to do this while the kids are playing!!! let me know what you think!

  • Katie October 11, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Great Post! So helpful to see you demonstrate the exercises! Can’t wait to do this tonight when I take my kids to the park. Hopefully, I won’t get too many weird looks!! =)

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:37 pm

      haha – i totally did this workout on the playground while people were playing with their children. i think it would be a great way for you to multitask! 🙂

  • Sarah October 11, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Hi Jen! Its great seeing a demonstration of each exercise! I’m also a fitness instructor and find that demonstrating how NOT to do an exercise is just as beneficial (maybe a future video post?). For example, when demonstrating a single-leg squat, in addition to saying “make sure the knee stays over the ankle”, you could demonstrate what it looks like if you are doing it incorrectly (eg. knee wobbling out to the side or collapsing inwards). Some people who are new to exercising probably don’t know what “knee over ankle” looks like! Too often you might think you are doing it the right way but then can’t understand why you get injured or why you don’t get the results you were hoping for. I can’t wait to try this circuit!

  • Brittany October 11, 2011, 3:23 pm

    I absolutely love this!! Such a great idea to get outside and workout. I will definitely try this 😀

  • Emily@RunningPerspective October 11, 2011, 4:55 pm

    love thissss such great demonstrations! you are so cute ps i totally am gonna do this!!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:35 pm

      thanks, emily! let me know what you think! 🙂

  • Bonnie October 11, 2011, 5:30 pm

    Great circuit workout, Jen! I love workouts like this – fun to plan, fun to lead others through, fun and quick to do yourself! Thanks for sharing. 😀

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life October 11, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Thanks for this! I plan on trying it tonight!!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:36 pm

      yay! let me know how it went!

      • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life October 12, 2011, 3:36 pm

        oh my, this was brutal…in a good way! the burpees were definitely the hardest part, but i powered through. most of my workouts are long distance runs, so i’m really excited to incorporate more strength training. the soreness i’m feeling today tells me i need it!

  • emmy October 11, 2011, 6:06 pm

    thanks so much, this workout is coming at a great time for me – I’ve been having some pain while running, thinking it’s tendinitis, so i’m trying to take a little break and give my foot some rest. Just tried this workout (switched out the sprint at the end for 100 jumping jacks) and it was HARD and GREAT! I’d love to see more of these circuit workouts – love that I didn’t need any equipment!

    Since I’m sidelined from hitting the pavement for now, this really gave me some workout inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that running isn’t the ONLY way to get my heart rate going 🙂

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:35 pm

      emmy – i’m so happy to hear that you trid the workout…and found it to be challenging! 🙂

      i am guilty of the same mindset of having to run to burn. when i did this circuit i was thrilled to discover that my heart rate was definitely higher than my average run.

      i hope you feel better soon!

  • Erica October 11, 2011, 8:02 pm

    this is great! haha I thought I was in decent shape until I tried this. It will definitely get the heart rate going!


    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:33 pm

      i know! i couldn’t even believe how sky high my heart rate was during this workout. waaaaay higher than my average run!

  • Samantha @ The More I Run October 11, 2011, 8:58 pm

    I love this workout and this video…thanks for doing it! It’s also quite obvious why your body looks like it does and mine looks like it does! 🙂

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:33 pm

      glad you enjoyed. had a soy latte this morning after a tough workout thanks to you! xoxo

      • Samantha @ The More I Run October 12, 2011, 9:28 am

        Awwww…yay! Thanks! I’m so in love with my soy coffees. They are such a treat! Oh, and I tried this circuit and I found myself laughing out loud at how I must have looked while doing them! hahaha! You make it look so easy! 🙂

  • Alice October 11, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Great post. I tried the workout this morning! Burpees (following the lunges, which got tough) really got me! WHY are they so hard? Ugh! Make me feel like I weigh 1000 lbs! This is a great alternative to everyday workouts. Very helpful&exciting! Thanks so much!

    • Jen October 11, 2011, 10:32 pm

      alice – i’m really excited that you tried the workout. you are not alone on the burpees. they kinda make me feel like hurling every time i do them! 😉

  • Katie October 11, 2011, 11:20 pm

    LOVE this! I hope you will be posting lots more detailed workouts! You should post the actual written workout as an image so that it can be pinned to pinterest. It’s a great way to spread the word and for people to save/organize workouts they want to do!

  • Abby October 11, 2011, 11:32 pm

    O.U.C.H. I honestly went into this workout thinking, “Oh, I can totally do 3 sets, maybe 4. It will leave me feeling awesome and I will be able run 2 miles home from the park with energy to spare.

    Fast forward…

    3 sets? 3 whole sets?! Is she serious?? Haha, I’m obviously not in that great of strength-training shape…I did 2 sets, and I guarantee I will be sore in yoga tomorrow (but what better way to stretch, right?!). I also guarantee I will be doing this workout again and again until I can do 3 sets. =)

    I love it when you post workouts! Thanks!!! Oh and PS – I agree with Jill. Killer arms!

  • Janelle October 11, 2011, 11:37 pm

    I did this this afternoon, and it kicked my trash! It was great! I have the Jillian Michaels DVD, 30 day shred, and this was so much more harder! I could only do 20 burpies though, I will have to work up to that. How many calories approx do you think a workout like this would burn?

    • Janelle October 11, 2011, 11:38 pm

      I mean I could only do 10 burpies not 20 🙂

  • Jenna October 12, 2011, 8:39 am

    I am so sore from doing this yesterday…but I LOVED it! It was especially nice to get such a dynamic workout without having to track down a bunch of equipment!…just perfect

  • Lindsey October 12, 2011, 3:03 pm

    I’ve been needing to find some new cross-training routines other than running, swimming , and weights at the gym, I saw this post yesterday and tried it out. It didn’t feel too bad at the time, but boy are my arms, shoulders, and butt burning today! thanks!

  • Brigid October 12, 2011, 9:34 pm

    I brought this workout with me to try with my friend tonight (we’re working on losing baby weight AND prepping for our first half marathon) and we combined your fall workout with an 8 minute cardio circuit and LOVED it! We had nothing to hang on, so we did twisting crunches to work our obliques. Thank you so much for this awesome work out and please keep ’em coming. Oh, and GO DAWGS!

  • Jo (livingmintgreen) October 12, 2011, 9:44 pm

    My husband & I did this together tonight! We loved the challenge (devil burpees!) & breaking out of our usual workout routines. Thanks! : )

  • Sherry October 13, 2011, 8:25 am

    Thanks for the circuit workout, I tried it last night and loved it! I’m always looking for new workout ideas and routines I can do at home. I’d love more workout ideas and strength training routines I can do from home.

    Thanks again!

  • Sarah October 13, 2011, 9:14 am

    I did the circuit work out (i could only do 2 reps, I am getting back into shape so its a little harder) and I loved it! I ran to the park by my house and did the circuit (well, what i was able to do) and ran back and I feel it this morning, in a good way! Thank you for the motivation and the video, I had it on my i phone so I could pause as I did it! Thanks for helping me get back into it!

  • Renee October 13, 2011, 8:15 pm

    Hi Jen! I’ve followed your blog for awhile but have never thought to post a comment until now. I am a Special Agent with the FBI so staying in shape is critical to my job. I get bored easily with workouts so I am constantly trying to mix up my routine to keep myself motivated. I tried your fall circuit workout this morning and absolutely loved it! It was such a good, challenging mix of strength and cardio that I had to pass it along to a few other Agents in my office. Thanks for sharing your tips and I look forward to reading more of your creations in the future. Keep up the good work!

  • Shayla @ The Good Life October 13, 2011, 8:53 pm

    You are too cute…I just love the video and the circuit workout, thanks Jen! P.S. Can I please borrow your arms? Thank you 🙂

  • Genevieve Richard May 21, 2013, 7:02 am

    Hey Jen!
    I absolutely love your blog, I just stumbled on it yesterday on tastespotting!
    Really love this workout, it will be a nice change from my training.
    Do you have more of these circuit combos in the park?
    I love going there are and using the bars for pull ups etc.

    Thank you!


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