TRX & Dumbbell Circuit Workout

Whenever possible, I sneak in a TRX/weightlifting class at my local gym. It’s 30 minutes of non-stop movement designed to work all of your major muscle groups. I like it because I tend to favor some strength training moves more than others, so this class forces me to try alternative exercises.

The class format is challenging – 60 seconds of intensity followed by 15 seconds of rest. I’m not always crazy about the order in which we train our muscle groups, so I created my own version of the workout.

I’m using my TRX at a local park. My son used to be obsessed with swinging and going on slides for hours, so I would sneak in a workout while he played. Photo credit: Nick Krug.

I’m using my TRX at a local park. My son used to be obsessed with swinging and going on slides for hours, so I would sneak in a workout while he played. Photo credit: Nick Krug.

You will train each major muscle group by doing three different exercise movements for 60 seconds. By the time you hit the last movement in the circuit, the muscle group you’re working is usually fatigued! If you don’t have access to a TRX, check out the suggested alternative movements I have listed.

TRX & Dumbbell Workout: 60 Seconds Effort, 15 Seconds Rest

Circuit #1:

TRX Squat Jumps (Alternative movement – Squats or Squat Jumps)

Squats with Dumbbells

Wall Sit

Circuit #2:


Dumbbell Chest Press While Holding a Bridge

Lying Chest Flys + Leg Lifts

**If you have lower back issues, don’t do the leg lift portion - just do the lying chest flys.

Circuit #3:

TRX Single-Leg Lunge (Left Leg) Alternative: Stationary Lunge with left leg in front.

TRX Single-Leg Lunge (Right Leg) Alternative: Stationary Lunge with right leg in front.

Walking Lunges with Dumbbells

Circuit #4:

TRX Row (Alternative: Standing Row using a Theraband)

Standing Dumbbell Row

Renegade Row

Circuit #5:

TRX Glute Bridge (Alternative: Bridge with mini band or weight.)

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

Circuit #6:

TRX Bicep Curl

TRX Triceps Extension

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Triceps Dumbbell Extension

Want to know more about the equipment in this workout? Check out my Home Gym page for more information about this workout’s suggested pieces of equipment.

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Ultimate 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout

I wanted to squeeze in a weight lifting workout during a recent vacation. I didn’t know what was available in the fitness room, so I couldn’t plan my workout in advance. After scoping out the equipment, I pulled this workout together. I really liked it, and I felt like it did a good job of hitting the major muscle groups while still cranking up my heart rate.

This workout can be done in your home, at the gym or a hotel fitness center. You just need a few sets of dumbbells, and that’s it! I did 10 reps of each exercise, so it would be easier to remember. However, feel free to add on repetitions or go heavier with your weights!

If you like this workout, check out some of my other favorite dumbbell workouts below:

Arms Are Burning Dumbbell Workout

Feel the Burn Dumbbell Workout

Ultimate 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout:

Circuit #1:

10 Lateral Hops

10 Squat + Shoulder Press

10 DB Deadlifts

10 DB Rows

10 Push-ups

10 Squat Jumps

Repeat for a total of 3 times.

Circuit #2:

10 Side Plank Rotations (per side)

10 Lying DB Skull Crushers

10 Bird Dogs

30 Sec. Up and Down Planks/Plank ups

Repeat for a total of 3 times.

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Choose Your Own Workout

During our recent vacation, my son started reading “choose your adventure” books. He could choose what path he wanted the story to take. (If the robot gets blown up, turn to page 8, but if you want the robot to battle other machines, turn to page 12.)

So many of my clients groan when a certain workout movement is prescribed. I hear endless, “Anything but this movement” comments. So, I decided to use my son’s book as inspiration for a workout.

I created a “Choose Your Workout” for them to do. They had a choice – burpees or plank walkouts, squats or lunges, push-ups or triceps dips, etc.

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How to Get Rid of Those Flabby Underarms – Best Triceps Exercises

Many of us want to banish that fat on the back of our arms that we not-so-lovingly refer to as bat wings, lunch lady arms or turkey wings. As a personal trainer, triceps are the muscle group that I hear the most complaints about. Everyone wants toned, ripped triceps muscles.

Triceps do so much more than you realize. They work in coordination with other muscles to perform tasks like pushing a door shut or doing a push-up. They are also used in smaller scale movements such as writing. While the biceps bend your elbow, the triceps help extend your elbow. Triceps also make your upper body stronger, which means you can throw a ball or shoot a basketball with more force.

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Toning and shrinking the belly area is a hot topic among my clients. It seems like everyone wants to have firmer, more defined abs. I get it - we all want to have that envy-inducing six-pack!

You will often here fitness professionals joke that a six-pack is made in the kitchen. They are absolutely right! What you eat has the biggest impact on the size of your belly. You can do 100 crunches a day and still not see any progress. You might strengthen your core, but if you have fat on top of your muscles, it will be hard to see the definition.  

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Feel the Burn Dumbbell Workout

Strength training gets a bad reputation. We often think it has to be this lengthy, intense process that takes hours to complete. That’s not the case at all – just a few minutes can have an impact! We also associate resistance training with the gym, but you can easily do a full-body workout from home.

I’m including a workout that you can do with minimal equipment. Grab a set of dumbbells, and you are good to go.

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Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

Some of my favorite workouts are created by accident.   This workout is a result of one of those recent workout sessions. I knew I wanted to do a strength training session with minimal equipment, and I needed it to be full-body.

The only equipment this workout utilizes are dumbbells. If you don’t have any dumbbells, you can easily do this workout with bottles of water or no weights at all. Repeat each circuit for a total of three times before moving on to the next circuit.

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The Cupcake Workout - Seriously!

Confession: I ate a TON of cupcakes on Saturday. I was stressed,  working on a deadline and in perfect view of them sitting on the counter. I probably should have stopped after the first bite, but I kept eating because they tasted delicious. (If you are looking for a great chocolate cake recipe, check this one out!) Anyway, fast forward to Sunday -  I felt lethargic and icky. I wanted to get myself moving and sweat out some toxins.

That's where this "Cupcake Workout" came from. It is NOT intended to "work off" all of the calories I consumed. It's just a workout to get your body moving and break a sweat.

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18-Minute Full Body Workout

Last week, a client texted me asking for some workout ideas.  She said she had a set of 5-pound weights and a swiss ball.  I LOVE this kind of challenge; it's fun for me to create a workout that only uses specific pieces of equipment. I texted the following workout back to her, and I decided to give it a try, too. I really liked this workout because it was quick and thorough, which is exactly the kind of workout that I want.

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