If you are a woman and looking or a new or different workout plan where you can gain muscle, whilst also maintaining/improving fitness levels and lose body fat then look no further.

The method this article looks at is metabolic conditioning through a circuit training method, a gym workout plan for women.

There are many forms of circuit training methods including HIIT (High intensity interval training) such as Tabata or X –Treme. One which is more unique and ideal for women is the 321 method of circuit training developed by Hollywood personal trainer to the stars Ramona Braganza.

The 321 circuit training method is good for metabolic conditioning, developing strength and endurance. It’s also good for core stability and strength at the same time it can also be performed outside, at home or in the gym. Using just body weight exercises, or portable equipment. It can also be done in the home, a studio environment or with resistance machines and dumb bells and cardiovascular equipment in the gym.

The 321 training method is developed as circuit training in the format of 3 sessions of cardio, dynamic warm up followed by 3-10 minute duration, 2 sessions of resistance training of 3 exercises and 3 sets of each with minimal rest between sets, and 1 session of core exercises of 2-3 sets of 3 abdominal exercises with minimal rest in between sets, and 5-10 minutes flexibility/stretching and cool down at the end of session.

An example of a daily week’s schedule of 321 training could be set out as follows:-

Day 1- Chest, Triceps & Legs

Day 2- Back, biceps & legs

Day 3- Shoulders, legs & Glutes

You should take a day’s rest between sessions and take one day of rest/relaxation each week.

An example of Day One of a 321 circuit training plan:-

Dynamic warm up- 5 minutes

CARDIO 1 SESSION- Walk/jog on treadmill for 5-10 minutes at 5-6 miles per hour


  • Chest- Push ups- 15-20 repetitions – use body weight -3 sets. Take a 45 seconds rest in between sets
  • Legs – Squats – 15-20 repetitions – 4kg per side – 3 sets. Take a 45 second rest in between sets
  • Triceps – Triceps dips – 15-20 repetitions – Body Weight on bench-3 sets. Take a 45 second rest in between sets


CARDIO 2 SESSION – X Trainer –Level 5- 10 minutes- moderate exertion


1) Chest –Dumb bell chest press- 15-20 repetitions- 4 kg per side- 3 sets. Take a 45 second rest in between sets

2) Russian Lunges – 15-20 repetitions per leg – 5 kg per side-3 sets – Take a 45 second rest in between sets

3) Triceps extensions -15-20 repetitions per side – 3kg per side- 3 sets. Take a 45 second rest in between sets

CARDIO 3 SESSIONstretching-relaxation-workout-plan – Rower- Level 5- 10 minute row – aim for 2000 metres

CORE- Abdominal /lower back exercises

  • Plank- hold for 1 minute
  • Side plank-hold for 1 minute both sides
  • Superman

COOL DOWN – Flexibility/stretching exercises and relaxation for 5 minutes

Completing this circuit will take 45 minutes to 1 hour dependant on length of cardio sessions in circuit. It could also be fitted into a lunch hour break if condensed into a mini session of half an hour. An ideal way for ladies to train as a group or on their own and improve fitness, strength and stamina levels whilst still having fun!

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Sharon Clare

Sharon is a level 4 specialist personal trainer and food coach and also an international natural light weight physique competitor with the WNBF9World natural bodybuilding competition). Sharon runs her own personal training company Body Coach Fitness. Find out more

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