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Gymboss Spartan Running Circuit

Posted 10-12-2020
In Workouts & Running

Gymboss Spartan Running Circuit

Running is one of the best ways to get fit and lose weight. Why? Simply put, it’s just super-accessible. You can run almost anywhere and anytime, and all you really need is a pair of suitable running shoes. You can even run barefoot if you really want to.

But, if running has a disadvantage, it is that it only really works your lower body. Running scores ten out of ten for cardiovascular conditioning, but it’s a swing and a miss for your upper body conditioning. And even though running works your legs, it’s not all that good for strengthening and toning.

With all that in mind, the Gymboss Spartan Running Circuit was designed to build total-body fitness in as little as 30 minutes.

Use this workout anytime that you need a full-body workout but also want to run.


The workout

For this workout, all you need is a Gymboss timer and some space. It’s best done outside, somewhere like a park would be perfect, but you could conceivably do it using a treadmill instead.

First off, head out and jog for 3-5 minutes to warm up. When you feel warm and slightly out of breath, do 1-2 minutes of dynamic stretching to prepare your muscles and joints for what is to follow.

Once you are ready, set your Gymboss timer for two minutes of work, and one minute of rest. Set the number of intervals for five for a 15-minute workout, 10 for a 30-minute workout, or 15 for a 45-minute workout as preferred.

Then, when you are ready, do this sequence of exercises:

2 minutes – run at a comfortable pace

1 minute – alternating backward lunges with overhead arm reach

2 minutes – run at a comfortable pace

1 minute – push-up planks

2 minutes – run at a comfortable pace

1 minute – prisoner good mornings

2 minutes – run at a comfortable pace

1 minute – leg-lift push-ups

2 minutes – run at a comfortable pace

1 minute – lateral lunges


Repeat the entire sequence 1-2 more times or stop after one lap; it’s up to you!


Exercise descriptions

Get the most from this and every other workout by doing the prescribed exercises properly. Doing exercises the right way keeps the tension on your muscles and off your joints. Doing them the wrong way increases your risk of injury. The right way is harder, but, when it comes to productive training, harder is almost always better!



You probably know how to run, but let’s make sure! Run at a comfortable pace, not too fast and not too slow. Keep your head up, look straight ahead, and keep your footfalls light and almost silent. Don’t let tension creep into your arms, neck, or face. Above all, remember to breathe evenly. If you start to “panic breathe,” you’ll soon begin to tire.


Alternating backward lunges with overhead arm reach

This exercise works your legs and hips, and it’s also good for your balance. As an added bonus, it provides your core with an easy but beneficial workout. It’s good for hip mobility too.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
  2. Take a large step back, bend your legs, and lower your rearmost knee to within an inch of the floor. Lean forward slightly, and make sure your front shin remains close to vertical. Raise both arms up and overhead as your step back.
  3. Push off your back leg to return to the starting position. Lower your arms at the same time.
  4. Do another rep but, this time, leading with the opposite leg.
  5. Keep alternating legs for 60 seconds.


Push-up planks

Planks are a great core and abs exercise, but you usually need a gym mat to do them. This version requires no mat, so you should be able to do them as part of a run.

How to do it:

  1. Adopt the push-up position with your legs and arms straight.
  2. Brace your abs.
  3. Maintain this position for 60 seconds, without dropping or raising your hips.
  4. Do not hold your breath during this exercise.


Prisoner good mornings

This exercise hits your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It’s also good for hamstring flexibility and general posture. This exercise will be quite challenging to do while you are out of breath, so get your breathing under control as soon as you can by focusing on inhaling deep into your abdomen and not high into your chest.

How to do it:

  1. Place your fingers on your temples and push your elbows out and back. Really open up your chest. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Push your hips back and hinge forward at your waist. Lean forward without rounding your lower back.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.


Leg-lift push-ups

The regular push-up is the most popular and commonly performed exercise on the planet. This small twist makes it not only more demanding but a bit more interesting too.

How to do it:

  1. Adopt the push-up position with your arms and legs completely straight.
  2. Bend your arms and lower your chest down toward the floor. Simultaneously lift one leg and extend it up and behind you.
  3. Extend your arms, lower your leg, and repeat, alternating legs until your Gymboss timer sounds again.


Lateral lunges

This move targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as your inner and outer hips and thighs. It also provides your adductors or inner thighs with a useful stretch.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides.
  2. Take a large step out to the side. Bend your outermost leg and descend into a lateral lunge. Keep your other leg straight.
  3. Push off your bent leg and return to the starting position.
  4. Do an identical rep on the opposite side.
  5. Alternate leading legs for the duration of the work interval.


Modifications for beginners

This workout was designed for intermediate to advanced exercisers, but that doesn’t mean beginners can’t do it too. Here are a few modifications you can use to make this work out a little easier.

1 – walk or jog instead of run

2 – adjust the length of the work periods, e.g., 90 seconds and 45 seconds

3 – choose easier exercises than those listed

4 – do fewer laps of the circuit

5 – work at a comfortable pace


Wrapping up

We love running. Just getting out of the gym and into the countryside is so therapeutic! Even a bad run is better than a good day at work. But, it’s nice to do more than work on your cardiovascular fitness during a run, and that’s what this workout is all about.


And the name? It’s got nothing to do with Greek warriors. Instead, it refers to the sparsity of exercise equipment or, in this case, none at all!