Move It Monday: 5 Minute Mini-Circuits & Giveaway

by tinareale on January 6, 2014

Disclosure: This post sponsored by Gymboss Interval Timers. As always, all opinions expressed are my own, honest opinions. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information on sponsored posts.

Who else is ready to get moving on a cold day like today? If you need to warm up a bit, I have just the workout for you today. It’s fun, fast, and I think you will enjoy the layout, as well.

So what exactly does this workout look like? Well, a bit like this:

  • 30 seconds
  • 60 seconds
  • 60 seconds
  • Repeat for a 5 minute circuit.

In this workout, you will have three different exercises. The first exercise is a cardio based move that you will do for 30 seconds. Then, you follow that up with 60 seconds each of a lower body and upper body exercise. Go through the timed intervals of the three exercises a second time to add up to five total minutes. I promise you that you will be dying for that five minutes to end!

In order to make this workout even more user friendly, I decided to use a Gymboss Interval Timer. About a month ago, I received two of the Gymboss timers to try out with my workouts and to see how they performed – if they really helped make those interval, tabata, and timed workouts we know and love that much easier to follow.

- photo via Instagram

Verdict? They did. I loved being able to just “set it and forget it” when doing the workout. Normally, when doing interval workouts of this nature I would either use a clock on the wall at the gym I had to constantly check or an app on my phone. The app would work fine, but my phone screen would time out too often and I hated not being able to see just how much time I had left for a certain interval. The little countdown screen really helped motivate me to keep pushing. Plus, there’s the added bonus of the Gymboss timers being smaller, so much more comfortable to wear (they have clips or armbands) during the workout.

For the first couple of weeks I used solely the basic Gymboss timer (shown above) and it worked wonderfully. The setup for the intervals takes minimal time and I could jump right in to my workout. Then, when I went to perform the workout I will be sharing with you today, I realized that I needed a few more options. That’s where the Gymboss miniMAX timer came in.

black pink miniMAX angle

It allows you to set numerous interval lengths and various circuits to combine into one workout. You can also save up to 20 different workouts (programs) for later use, so you don’t have to set up the intervals from scratch every time you use the timer like you would if doing a different interval setup with the standard Gymboss timer. You can check out the differences between the two timers in the table below.

I found both of the Gymboss timers incredibly easy to use and helpful for my workouts.

There are SO many ways to use the timers:

  • Tabatas – You just wait anxiously for that beep. It somehow keeps you going.
  • Treadmill Intervals – I can’t even begin to describe how freeing it felt to not have to watch the dang treadmill clock for when to adjust my speed or incline. Plus, helps you have better form to not be looking down at the treadmill dashboard all the time while walking/running.
  • Stretching – It’s so easy to not hold a stretch for the full amount of time or skip stretches. I have a stretch timer set up so I stick with the number of stretches for the right amount of time to end my workout. No more skipping out early!
  • Planks – I like increasing core strength with planks, but instead of holding for one long marathon session of a plank, I prefer to break it up into smaller chunks of time with minimal rest. I can also switch up the type of planking between rounds on the timer. Or, you can use the stopwatch features to see how long you can hold one plank if that’s more your style.
  • Fitness Tests – Many of the fitness tests I do for Best Body Bootcamp (registering now!) are timed tests, such as how many push-ups can be finished in one minute. The timer works so well for that. The stopwatch would work well for things like a timed mile test, too.
  • Timed Circuits – Just like the one you will get right now!

Check out the Gymboss Pinterest page for workout ideas, as well.

Now for that workout I told you about! Remember – 30 seconds cardio, 60 seconds lower body, and 60 seconds upper body done two times through for a five minute circuit. The workout includes four groups of exercises. You can do each one for a 20 minute workout or go through 1 or 2 of your favorites a few times through one day and do the other groups on a different day.

5 Minute Mini Circuits

Here is a video demo of the first group of exercises, so you can kind of see how the layout works. Note that I did go through the exercises just once for time purposes, so you would rest as much as needed and move right into another round of that group of exercises when doing the actual workout.

Some modifications would be to keep the cardio exercises low impact, take rest breaks as often as needed during the intervals, or to do each group just one time through instead of two times through.
Always rest for at least two minutes between groups of exercises and modify any exercises that cause you any sort of pain or discomfort. Train smart and make it work for you. And have fun with it!

But before you get started with your workout, you may not want to leave just yet. I have a giveaway for you! Up for grabs are one of each of the Gymboss timers – one Gymboss timer and one Gymboss miniMAX timer. That means TWO WINNERS. Yay! Follow the Rafflecopter prompts to get your entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to also check out Gymboss on Instagram and Pinterest! Giveaway open to US residents only. Giveaway ends Thursday January 9th at 11:59 pm EST. Good luck!


1 Nicki January 6, 2014 at 7:45 am

I’ve been using a stop watch for ages for circuits. It’s sort of a pain as no “alarm” to let you know to move on. Always feel I’m paying more attention to it than to my movements.

2 Glenneth January 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

this would also be great for HIIT training or possibly couch to 5K!

3 Megan (The Lyons' Share) January 6, 2014 at 8:04 am

I love at-home circuits like these (pinned for future use – maybe even today!), and I usually rely on online free interval timers. But having a Gymboss timer would be great!

4 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

I use my iphone stopwatch and it always fades out or turns off. I could totally use this :)

5 Heather @fitncookies January 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

I just won one of these from Paige (Trainer Paige) and haven’t opened it yet! I got it yesterday but I am so excited to try it now!

6 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

I’m trying to change up my workouts a bit so this would be great for those tabatas!

7 Megan B. January 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

This would be great to have at the gym or home when doing intervals!

8 Lesli January 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

This would be great for one of my favorite strength circuits that is 1 minute on, 15 seconds off. I would love to try it with this circuit as well… Looks great!

9 Tara Roenbaugh January 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

I like to have my circuit training class do tabatas and stations. This would be so much easier than using a stopwatch!

10 Marianne @ Living with Greater Purpose January 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

I usually just use my phone app for a timer, but it would be nice to be able to workout without my phone!

11 Amanda January 6, 2014 at 8:27 am

I just told my husband I need a Gymboss. I have been using the timer on my phone but it’s such a hassle to have to reset it each interval. It definitely takes focus away from being able to stay in the zone.

12 Larissa Lister January 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

I’ve wanted one of these! I’ve been using an app for my phone, but this would be way easier!

13 Jody January 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

What a fun giveaway. This sounds like a fun workout to tackle today during my lunch break.

14 Tori L January 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

I love doing circuit workouts, to that would definitely come in handy to use!

15 Brittany @ Read, Run, Repeat January 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

It would be so nice to NOT have to use my phone for intervals and circuits!! I have the same problem where my phone auto locks and I have to stop to open it up again– annoying!!

16 Linz @ Itz Linz January 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

the gymboss is super convenient for interval workouts! i love your five minute mini circuit!!

17 sararm January 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

I really need to get a gymboss, I still use the clock for my classes and know it would be so much easier to use gymboss instead!!

18 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

I would use it to do circuit workouts! I have an app on my phone but it only goes up to 20 rounds and doesn’t have as many options – it gets frustrating!

19 Riss January 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

Since I don’t have my own car and am forced to work out at home often, I would use it to time the workouts I create!

20 Suzanne January 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

I’ve really been enjoying these types of mini workouts lately so this timer would be so helpful.

21 Lauren January 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

I would use the gymboss for quick tabata workouts when I’m short on time!

22 Amber S. January 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

I love circuit workouts so this would be perfect for those! I usually use my computer but I have the same issue you do; my screen goes black after a certain amount of time and then I have no idea how much time I have left.

23 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables January 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

I love doing circuit workouts, so this would be AWESOME! Plus, I’m about to start working out solely at home!

24 Kate @KateMovingForward January 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

I would definitely use it for HIIT workouts and running speed sessions. It would be SO much more convenient!

25 Kate January 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

I would definitely use it when doing planks. I HATE trying to hold my watch when I’m in a plank.

26 Randi M January 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

I am just starting my c25k training, but am looking forward to incorporating more varied workouts like these.

27 Cori @ olivetorun January 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

I would LOVE to use it for HIIT workouts!

28 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots January 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

I would use it for my workouts at the gym all the time.

29 Amy H. @ Run with Perseverance January 6, 2014 at 10:46 am

I love circuit workouts and tabata workouts, so I’d use a Gymboss timer for that! I usually use my phone, but I don’t like it when the screen times out :(

30 jessica z January 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

I would us the Gymboss Interval Timer to time my intervals and planks.

31 Caroline January 6, 2014 at 11:12 am

I love the idea of using this for intervals on the treadmill because I’m constantly watching the clock to know when I need to increase/decrease my speed!

32 Shaunna January 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

I love tabatas! This would be great!

33 Haley January 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

This would help with my tempo runs!

34 Larissa January 6, 2014 at 11:39 am

I’ve been wanting one of these so bad for awhile now. I don’t like it when my phone times out either.

35 Cheri McElroy January 6, 2014 at 11:43 am

I’ve been dying to get a Gymboss to use with my HIIT and Tabata workouts.

36 Mary January 6, 2014 at 11:49 am

I’m signed up for the Winter 2014 BBB, so this would be perfect to use for the workouts you created for that program (and beyond!)

37 Kim @ Racing Bananas January 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

I would love this HIIT workouts!

38 Jessie January 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I would love a gym boss timer for my circuit workouts at the gym!!

39 Marni G January 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I love doing circuits and currently use an app on my phone, but this would be awesome to use.

40 Brittany @ Barr & Table January 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

This would be so much better than having to watch the clock for my workouts!

41 Kristen January 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm

I use the Gymboss app on my phone for circuit workouts and stretching and I’d love to have the real timer!

42 Amanda H @EatHardWorkHard January 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I love interval training and use the Gymboss app for my phone, but would LOVE to have one of the timers so I could use my phone for other things like music!

43 Indhu January 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Love interval training and this looks super convenient rather than having to use the app on my tablet.

44 Tara Aes January 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Sometimes the best solutions are simple! So glad I’m not the only one fumbling with my iPhone timer and staring into the treadmill clock. I’d live to win one of these!

45 Gina January 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I would use my timer for interval training while I run. Thank you!!!

46 Kim January 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Would be great to use in tabata routines!

47 Nicole Hall January 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I love circuits–I would use this to simplify my timing!

48 Kim January 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I love my GymBoss and use it all the time for boot camp workouts. I didn’t even realize there was a new and improved mini – now I feel the need to add it to my collection. I could do so many great workouts (like this one!) with that!!

49 kristina edson January 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I would use it for my running HIIT intervals.

50 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I would love a gymboss! I’d use it for planks and circuit workouts… great video by the way!

51 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine January 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I would love to have an easier way to time Tabatas ans circuits! Right now I just use my phone.

52 Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves January 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Tabatas and circuits are my favorite types of workouts, so I would make great use of the Gymboss timer!

53 Carla S January 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

I would use it to do HIIT in the gym.

54 Danica @ It's Progression January 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

A lot of my workouts during the wintertime are right at home so I would love to have a timer to make my workout time more efficient!

55 Vanessa January 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I’ve considered buying one of these for a long time, but just haven’t wanted to spend the money. I would use it for BBB workouts, of course! I also do run/walk intervals and this would be very handy. During last year’s Disney Princess Half I could hear these timers going off during the whole race. :)

56 Lanna January 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I’d use it to ramp up my workouts

57 Nicole January 6, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I love doing circuit workouts and have used a Gymboss timer for a few years but it recently broke. I would love to get a new one!

58 Allison Thompson January 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I have an interval app on my phone, but it’s not that easy to use, and like you said, the screen times out. I love there are so many uses you suggested. I definitely would use it for my latest round of BBB fit testing!

59 Cindy January 6, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I would use it when i work out on the treadmill.

60 Coco (@Got2Run4Me) January 6, 2014 at 9:14 pm

I would use a Gymboss for BBB workouts! ;)

61 Aimee M January 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm

I’d definitely use it for tabata workouts–they’re my favorite!!

62 Cynthia January 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

I usually use an app on my phone, but it gets annoying when I have to keep constantly checking to see how much time I have left. This timer would be awesome!

63 Heather @ Better With Veggies January 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I like my gymboss timer, but being able to set varying intervals would be great for warmups & cooldowns!!

64 Allison M January 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Very cool giveaway! I’d use it for BBB circuits. Looking forward to joining back in after our baby debuts.

65 Gina Helton January 7, 2014 at 4:35 am

The interval timer would be great to put in my husband’s workout room :)

66 Heather January 7, 2014 at 10:22 am

This would be so much easier than my phone for workouts. I am thinking about doing this round of BBB as it finishes the week of a wedding I am in so I think it is meant to be. However I am starting to train for my first half marathon so I am hesitant.

67 Emily January 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I’d love this for at home HIIT workouts.

68 Jess G. January 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

One of my goals for 2014 is to do at least one tabata workout each week!

69 Amy January 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Love tabata workouts, so this would be great!

70 Kishna January 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I’d use it for running intervals.

71 Bee Hare January 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

this would be way more handy than using my stopwatch app

72 PolyClayGirl (@polyclaygirl) January 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I use an app on my iphone. tedious at times.

73 KM Loove January 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I do a 2 min run/1 min walk. this would be helpful.

74 RunningDiva (@ILoveToRun131) January 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I would use this in my HIIT cardio workouts.

75 concordian925 January 7, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I use an android app to do interval training.

76 JaneAnn R. January 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I don’t use anything right now

77 Jamie January 8, 2014 at 12:17 am

Love interval training and this would be so helpful.

78 Amanda January 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

I would use it for circuit workouts like the one you posted which i intend to try out later. :)

79 julia frank January 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

so nice I like it it will be so helpful for me during my exercise time

80 Nancy Brett January 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I like to use on the Treadmill

81 sarah jau January 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

nice giveaway thank you

82 Kristen M January 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I’d use it for planks and circuits.

83 roxy meto January 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

oh wonderful for morning training

84 lovely jasmin January 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Love the miniMax because the I love to try the intervals

85 Nicole robert January 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

circuit training and Planks looks interested too

86 femto January 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I would take it with me in gym thank you so much

87 Caitlin January 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

This would make at home circuit workouts so much easier and quicker to set up! I would love to have one

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