Forget running – improve heart health with this 3-move circuit from Arnold Schwarzenegger instead

No weights needed, just your bodyweight and 15 spare minutes

Woman doing tricep dips on chair
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Running may be good for boosting our heart health and strengthening our joints, but there’s plenty of other ways we can do this – like with this three-move workout from Arnold Schwarzenegger's free workout guide. It’s a circuit-style workout, so it’s excellent for keeping the heart rate high and developing your cardiovascular fitness, as well as burning calories. You don’t need any equipment either, although we do suggest grabbing your best gym water bottle to stay hydrated – you’ll need it for this one!

Circuits are where you perform several exercises one after the other, with little to no rest period, which helps to keep the heart rate high. However, this circuit also includes strength training exercises, making it great for building a little muscle too. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicinethis is because it "induces the same anabolic signalling and maximal muscle fibre recruitment that conventional resistance training does — but without the need to use as much weight since there are shorter rest periods between sets". 

Young woman using laptop for doing home workout

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arnold's three-move circuit

This workout may only have three exercises, but its circuit-style will challenge you and put you through your paces. You'll do each exercise one after the other, with as little to no rest in between each one. Once you've completed all three, take a two to three minute rest, then repeat the workout three more times, following the same format. Remember, the less rest you have in between each exercise, the higher your heart rate will remain, which means a higher calorie-burn. But, of course, rest if you need to. Here's your circuit:

  • Bodyweight squats - 15-20 reps
  • Push ups - as many reps as you can to failure (you can also do these on your knees or against a wall if you struggle with regular push ups)
  • Bodyweight tricep extensions (or tricep dips on chair) -15-20 reps

You can easily take things up an extra notch if this is too easy for you too. Arnold suggests incorporating some weights, like a pair of dumbbells, or a kettlebell alongside the exercises. Although, if you don't own any, he does suggest wearing a backpack throughout the workout. Either of these options will not only work your muscles harder, but burn more calories too. Want more workouts like this one? Try this two-move leg workout from Chris Hemsworths' personal trainer, or this five minute arm workout, which also only uses two exercises.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.