Arc Trainer Exercise Series: Circuit Training

Today, in the Arc Trainer Exercise Series, we will be looking at Circuit Training, with high intensity interval training bouts of 30-60 seconds on, followed by 30-60 seconds off seems to be ideal for fat loss, fitness and improved heart rate recovery.770AT-arc-trainer-graphite-black

The Arc Trainer is set up perfectly for this type of training with a partner as well. Combining upper body activity (usually using dumbbells or bodyweight exercises) with the strength and cardio effect produced by the Arc can create an awesome, circuit style, atmosphere that challenges strength endurance in a high intensity interval setting.  Here is one example of a program we ran with group that trained over their lunch break…

Total Body Strength Endurance Circuit Using the Cybex Arc Trainer:

Following a 5 minute active warm up we divided our group into pairs. Each partner would select the dumbbells that he or she would be using for the following exercises and perform 10-12 repetitions of each exercise as part of an ‘extended’ warm up. This allowed us to focus on form, insure we had the proper weight of dumbbell and to address any technical issues associated with the specific exercises we had selected that day. Here are some of the exercises we might have used:

  • DB Bench Press
  • DB Bent Over Row
  • DB Military Press
  • Physioball Crunches (with or without DB’s)

On another day, we might have selected body weight exercises such as:

  • Push Ups
  • Inverted Rows (or Pull Ups)
  • Physioball Crunches
  • Back Extensions or Reverse Hyper

The specific exercises we selected were not as important as the fact that we focused on a group of exercises that target the major muscle groups of the upper body and held the repetitions over a 30-second, challenging intensity. We usually limited the exercise selection to 4 exercises, but in some cases went as high as 8 (including biceps curls, triceps extensions and shoulder raises).

Here is a sample workout:

  • 1A – DB Bench Press(30 seconds)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 1B – Arc Sprint(30 seconds at 35-50 Resistance/120 Strides per Minute)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 2A – DB Bent Row(30 seconds)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 2B - Arc Sprint(30 seconds at 35-50 Resistance/120 Strides per Minute)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 3A – DB Military Press(30 seconds)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 3B – Arc Sprint(30 seconds at 35-50 Resistance/120 Strides per Minute)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 4A – Physioball Crunches(30 seconds)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • 4B – Arc Sprint(30 seconds at 35-50 Resistance/120 Strides per Minute)
    • 30 seconds rest / switch with partner
  • Repeat 2-3 sets or 16-24 minutes

The Arc will keep the time, as one partner will perform the Arc Sprint (0-30 seconds) and then coast on the Arc until the other partner relieves them. Then this partner will wait until the clock hits the 1-minute mark before they start their set. As soon as the partner on the Arc starts their set, the other partner will begin their set with the Dumbbells. This keeps everyone on time, and makes for an organized circuit.


As mentioned before, we implemented this program with a group of men (30-50 years old) that could come in 2x per week on their lunch break for a quick 30-minute workout. Their goal was to begin a resistance program that would be quick but challenging, while also addressing some type of cardiovascular endurance. The objective was ultimately a fat loss program, but many of them also needed to be educated on simple resistance training techniques as only a few of them had any former lifting experience. None of the participants changed their diet. Here are the fat loss results:

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The beauty of this program was that we were able to get them in and out in less than 30 minutes and meet their goals. One additional benefit was that we were able to work with a smaller group during the lifting portion of the workout which provided time for more 1 on 1 instruction as one partner was on the Arc Trainer while the other was lifting.

As time went on we were able to increase the number of people training in one group to 4 people per Arc trainer. As client 1 was performing their 30-second Arc Sprint, client 2 was waiting (30 second rest period) to get on the Arc. Client 3 was performing the dumbbell exercise and client 4 was waiting (30 second rest period) to perform their dumbbell exercise.

This allowed a large group to train in a small space on 1 piece of equipment. As time went on we varied the program to incorporate more exercises. This kept the program fun and challenging while still meeting the time constraints and level of group fitness.

Scott Moody
Founder and CEO Soccer F.I.T. Academy

Use the Arc Trainer in the Free Cybex Workout Center


Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a pre-existing medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.

Comments (2) -

  • Jack Haydon

    9/24/2017 8:18:50 PM |

    Awesome results in 30-minutes. Please send new routines.

  • Duncan Lawrence

    4/26/2018 1:25:20 PM |

    Thanks, Jack! We will!

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