With the popularity of endurance challenges and races on the rise, we here at Trio Fitness wanted to conduct an experiment on how far endurance can be pushed (safely) in a gym setting. More specifically, we wanted to see what it might look like to do a circuit comprised of 30 exercises all in a row with no rest at all.
We work closely with our OCR athletes, so when Joel found out about it, he volunteered to try it. The idea was to create a format which would burn out one muscle group after another and then repeat the cycle with different exercises than the ones before. We also designed it to progress up to 30 exercises beginning at 4, not 1. This meant 27 days of adding on one exercise at a time until he reached 30. Granted, these were not all in a row as rest was taken on weekends to prevent injury or over training.
Check out a video he sent of when he hit number 21:
There were only two things we asked of Joel.
1: Time the circuit each time
2: Take his heart rate at the end.
Below are all of the exercises (in the exact order) as well as the daily progression format:
1: Chinups x Failure
2: Plank x 60 seconds
3: KB Squat x 20 (25lbs)
Day 1: 6x: 4: 15 foot rope floor-to-ceiling climb
Day 2: 6x: 5: Jumping Jacks x 50
Day 3: 5x: 6: Concept 2 Rower x 400 meters (level 10 resistance)
Day 4: 5x: 7: Dumbbell Arnold Press x 20 (20lbs)
Day 5: 5x: 8: Dumbbell Lunges x 15 each leg (20lbs)
Day 6: 4x: 9: Leg Raises x 20
Day 7: 4x: 10: Burpees x 10
Day 8: 4x: 11: Kettlebell Farmers Carries x 100 steps (63lbs each hand)
Day 9: 3x: 12: TRX Fall Downs x 10
Day 10: 3x: 13: Dumbbell Hammer Curls x 15
Day 11: 3x: 14: Medicine Ball Step-ups x 15 each leg (30lb medicine ball) (14 inch step)
Day 12: 3x: 15: Dips x 15
Day 13: 3x: 16: Pushups x 20
Day 14: 3x: 17: Hanging Leg Raises x 12
Day 15: 3x: 18: Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts x 15 (63lbs)
Day 16: 3x: 19: Ice Skaters x 10 each leg
Day 17: 3x: 20: Ball Slams x 15 (25lbs)
Day 18: 3x: 21: Situps x 15
Day 19: 3x: 22: Dumbbell Lateral Raise x 10 (20lbs)
Day 20: 3x: 23: Box Jumps x 10 (14 inch box)
Day 21: 3x: 24: Mountain Climbers x 30 each side
Day 22: 2x: 25: TRX Row x 20
Day 23: 2x: 26: Isometric Pullup x 15 seconds
Day 24: 2x: 27: Russian Twists x 15 each side (25lbs)
Day 25: 2x: 28: Jump Squats x 15
Day 26: 2x: 29: Band Reverse Flys x 15 (green band)
Day 27: 1x: 30: Supermans x 15
As you can see, day 1 included the first 4 exercises and every day after that added one more until it reached 30. Yes, those are all in a row. No, there is no rest. Yes, he did complete it.
Completed Circuit Results with all 30 exercises:
Heart Rate: 145bpm (checking immediately after finishing and counting a full 60 seconds)
We were actually very surprised by the results. Only 1 time throughout those 27 days of circuits did his rate rate go over 160bpm. That is a testament to his conditioning, but also to how quickly his heart recovers from exercise. If he had only counted his heart rate for 15 seconds and then multiplied by four, the number would have been much higher. However, we wanted to see how quickly it would drop after a full 60 seconds.
Overall, we’re told this circuit is miserable (go figure). 17 minutes of go go go on some extremely challenging and draining exercises really hits the body hard. Joel also reported that afterwards he didn’t see much of a different in his performance on smaller circuits or on his runs which we found fascinating as well.
Results: Inconclusive - while it certainly improved his endurance, we can’t say that it improved his performance. Though that might sound like an oxymoron, that’s the world of endurance athletes.
Think you could do the 30 Circuit? Try it. Film it. See if you can beat Joel’s time. Let us know what happens!