Tony Daley’s Total-Body Compound Circuit

Tony Daley in leg press machine
(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking to lose fat while increasing strength and endurance, compound exercises are the answer. They work lots of muscle groups in one hit, leading to a huge calorie burn and massive strength gains. 

How To Do This Workout

These exercises should be done in the order stated and in circuit format (completion of all exercises equals one circuit). Do 30 reps of each move before moving on to the next one. Take no break between each set but rest for two minutes between each circuit. Aim to do between four and six circuits, depending on your fitness level.

1 Incline dumbbell press

Targets upper chest, front shoulders, triceps

Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand on top of your thighs. Bring the dumbbells up to the sides of your torso at chest level. Rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. As you breathe out, press the dumbbells up directly above your chest. When your arms are straight, hold for one second then lower both dumbbells in a slow, controlled fashion to the sides of your chest.

2 Kettlebell swing

Targets core, hamstrings, back

Drop into a half-squat and swing the kettlebell between your legs. Now swing it all the way up, standing as you do so and keeping your back straight. Use your hips to drive the movement. The bell should come up to about shoulder height. At this point let the kettlebell fall back in its arc, keeping your arms extended at all times. As you lower the weight, squat down slightly with your hips back.

3 Torture twist

Targets abs, lower back

Place a flat bench parallel to a gym rack, sit centrally on the edge of the bench and place your feet under the rack. Lean back so that your torso is off the edge of the bench and is parallel to the floor. Position your arms across your chest. Turn your torso 90˚ to the right and hold for three seconds before turning back to the start position. Turn 90˚ to the the left side and hold for three seconds. This counts as one rep.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.