1-Plate EMOM Circuit Workout

All you need is a single weight plate and a little real estate to do this barn-burning workout.

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There is wisdom in the proverbial saying, “Don’t use a lot when a little will do.” Herein lies the beauty of this workout, which uses one weight plate and two simple circuits to deliver maximum results in just 12 minutes. Use this plan when you’re short on time and/or equipment, or add it onto any strength or cardio workout as a total-body finisher.

The Workouts

These circuit workouts are programmed in EMOM format — every minute on the minute — but with a twist: Rather than having one minute to complete the task, you’ll have two. Here’s how it should look:

At the start of minute one, you’ll complete all the overhead sumo squats and overhead walking lunges in EMOM 1. Then you’ll do the plate push for the remainder of that two minutes, aiming to accumulate as much distance as you can. Without resting, you’ll start again at the top of minute three, repeating that workout two more times for a total of three rounds and six minutes. Then you’ll move on to the second circuit, EMOM 2, and will complete three rounds there similarly. Add your plate-push distance for all six rounds for your score. Try to meet or beat it next time you do the circuit workout.

1-Plate EMOM Circuit Workout
Overhead Sumo Squat with plate - circuit workout

Overhead Sumo Squat

Hold the plate by the sides and fully extend your arms overhead, elbows by your ears. Position your feet outside shoulder width and turn your legs out from your hips. Actively press up against the plate as you bend your knees and drop your glutes straight down, tracking your knees over your toes until your thighs come parallel to the floor, back straight. Stand back up to the start and squeeze your glutes at the top.

Overhead Walking Lunge with plate

Overhead Walking Lunge

Hold a plate on the sides and extend your arms overhead, and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your core braced to prevent your rib cage from flaring. Actively press upward on the plate to hold it steady overhead as you step forward and bend both knees, lunging deeply until your rear knee lightly touches or almost touches the ground. Push off your back foot and bring your feet together underneath you. Continue, alternating legs.

Worm to Push-Up with plate - circuit workout

Worm to Push-Up

Get into plank with your toes on a plate and your head, hips and heels aligned. Keeping your core tight, bend your elbows and do a push-up, then lift your hips up into a pike, using your toes to drag the plate underneath you and as close to your hands as possible. Walk your hands back out into plank and repeat.

Note: Use a lighter/smaller plate to begin, and as you improve, increase the size.

Lateral Plate Hop with plate

Lateral Plate Hop

Stand to one side of a plate with your feet hip-width apart. Kick your hips back and bend your knees into a shallow squat to load your glutes and hamstrings, then quickly extend your knees and hips and leap laterally over the plate with both feet, landing lightly on the other side. Go right into the next rep and continue, alternating sides.

Plate Push

Plate Push

Place a heavy iron weight plate flat on the floor and hold it by the closest edge in front of your toes, fingers on top. Drop your hips and knees so your shins are about parallel with the floor while keeping your core braced and your back and arms straight. Pack your shoulder blades, then drive through your toes, taking quick, short strides to push the plate forward as quickly as possible, going for max distance.

Note: An iron plate will slide best on most surfaces, as compared to a rubber-coated one or a bumper plate.

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