Workout review – Julia Buckley & Decathlon UK’s “kit-free circuit”

For those of you who don’t know what Decathlon is….HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK?! Probably since I was about 8, I have been to Decathlon at least once per holiday. That’s a lot considering that we have often gone to France multiple times a year….like a lot a lot. We are fairly epic Decathlon fans. They have been over in the UK for a while, and basically have EVERYTHING you could ever need for sport under one roof, both big brand names and some awesome quality (and value) own brand stuff. A typical trip will usually involve at least two new pairs of shorts, some jodhpurs, a few of their incredible workout vests (I think I have 8 in different colours for about €5 each), various bike bits, socks (always socks), some water bottles, random bits of sports nutrition… But I digress. Decathlon UK have teamed up with Julia Buckley to offer a quick and easy workout that can be done anywhere, with no equipment. I’ve recently been doing some bits and pieces at work for our people engagement team looking at workouts you can do in a hotel room with no equipment (the GLAMOUR of consulting is too much to handle) so it was pretty well timed and I will definitely be passing it on to the team as one to try out. You need minimal space, no gym membership and it’s great if you can’t (or don’t want to because it’s raining) venture out of the house. The circuit is 10 moves, 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest. Easy ways to push it up would be scrapping the rest periods and doing 1-2 minute rests between entire circuits (I think I’d do 3) but just take it as you see fit and you can always boost it up later.

  1. Standing mountain climber
  2. Ski abs
  3. Lunge Kick R
  4. Lunge Kick L
  5. Push up
  6. Thai plank R
  7. Thai plank L
  8. Back raises
  9. Burpees
  10. Tuck abs
  11. Hindu push up
  12. Russian twist

(The observant will notice I said 10 moves and there are 12 in the list. This is due to the simple point of doing the lunges and Thai plank on both sides.You’re welcome)

Overall, I’d say it’s a great quick and SWEATY blast that works well as a circuit base. Ideally I’d say team up with a friend and just bash through it- unless you are someone who is 100% honest and won’t cheat on the burpees when there is no-one there to tell you off… Right, so now I am going to try and actually demo them. As per usual, I’ll give a disclaimer that I am not a qualified PT, my form may not *always* be spot on and I’d definitely advise going to visit Julia’s descriptions of the activities for further detail. I’d also advise following her on Twitter @Julia_B for quick and easy workout advice when you need a bit of inspiration (i.e. often me). We also didn’t receive anything for writing this, just in case you’re wondering. I enlisted the support of some trusted helpers, hopped out to the deck and got going!

  • Standing Mountain Climber. Light hand weights will make this even more fun.
  • Ski Abs.


  • Lunge Kicks. Again, add a set of dumbells to push it up a notch, or, a favourite of mine for lunges is to raise the back foot up onto a step or block. Do this on each leg!
  • Press ups. I’m sure you know what press-ups are, but here are a few photos of me doing some. Drop to your knees if you’re not yet at the full push up stage (make sure you keep your back straight) but give ONE full one a try, just for me. I promise it’s not that bad 🙂
  • Thai Plank (lol at my face for this one). Remarkably hard to balance! We did this in a core session recently at running club and all got the giggles and collapsed approx 15 seconds in, to the dismay of our coach. Don’t forget to do both sides.


  • Back Raises. Make sure you keep your eyes to the ground so that you don’t strain your neck, no matter how tempting it is to look ahead!
  • Burpees. I’m not going to demonstrate this move from hell! This are literally my least favourite things so I know that any circuit that includes them is going to be a pain. Add a tuck jump if you really enjoy torture, or even a press up (YUK)
  • Ab Tucks
  • Hindu Push Ups (I’d look more at the workout card here than my poor form)


  • Russian Twist. Here is an example of how to add in other people (grab anyone you find wandering around your house….) and increase the difficulty. Lifting your feet makes it harder, as does adding in a weight. (We then went for a bike ride, hence the gloves and cycling shoes…I did suggest he remove the backpack and helmet)


So, there you go. Easy circuit, great if you’re lacking time, equipment or confidence. There are so many options to build it up and push yourself harder, and I really liked having a circuit that I didn’t have to think of myself (because I can be super lazy and unimaginative!) and it’s another thing to add to my arsenal for ‘being stuck in a gym rut’.

3 thoughts on “Workout review – Julia Buckley & Decathlon UK’s “kit-free circuit”

  1. That Thai Plank looks like my idea of torture – I’d rather do 10 extra burpees! (Did I really just type that?) I follow Julia on social media and love her attitude so I’ll defo give this workout a try.
    Sadly I don’t have a Decathlon near me but it makes me think of traveling in France which is never a bad memory 🙂 x


    • I fell over approx .5 seconds after the photo was taken! (Also I cannot believe you actually willingly opted for burpees….you will wish you never said that!)
      My childhood was full of Decathlon. Me and my sister used to moan like crazy until we realised we always got loads of stuff…..I actually rarely make it to the ones in the UK because it seems like so much more of an effort rather than just hopping off a motorway at any major French town and knowing you will find one! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My London Marathon write-up – 3.33.24 PB | These Girls Do

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