Lose 10 Pounds with Maria Pontillo’s 10-10-10 Circuit Combo

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Many of my personal fitness clients and physical therapy patients routinely ask me for simple exercise routines that will help them lose weight, tone up or improve overall strength.  As a strong advocate for comprehensive exercise programs, I have created a workout combination that can achieve all three of those fitness goals. It is important to know that you can lose weight and tone up without spending hours in the gym. My 10-10-10 Circuit Combo can honestly help you lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks when combined with a balanced diet and a regular cardiovascular regime.

When I compiled these 10 simple yet challenging functional exercises, I considered two important factors — efficiency and intensity. No matter what kind of exercises you perform, you need to do them at a high intensity level to achieve real results. In addition, the exercises included in this combo will be easy to incorporate into your regular lifestyle because it plays off of what most of us lack when it comes to exercising: time and resources.  By performing these 10 exercises consecutively, you can achieve a high-intensity workout session that burns maximum calories without any expensive exercise equipment or a gym membership! You can easily perform all of these exercises in the comfort of your own home. If you want to really challenge yourself and break a sweat, perform these exercises outdoors at a local park or beach.

This 10-10-10 Circuit Combo focuses on functional, total-body conditioning exercises with an emphasis on the core and major muscle groups. I challenge you to incorporate the 10-10-10 Circuit Combo into your weekly exercise regime at least 3 times a week for 10 consecutive weeks and share with me your results by tagging my Instagram name or using my popular hashtag: @fitnesswithmaria & #FitnessWithMaria!

Remember: Complete these 10 exercise combinations consecutively for 10 Reps, then repeat 10 Times.


  1. Squat to Dumbbell Military Press — As most of us know, squats are great because they slim the thighs, tighten the butt and sculpt the hamstring. By adding a regular overhead press with dumbbells, the core and shoulders also become engaged the entire time. Simply stand shoulder width apart while holding two dumbbells at upper chest shoulder level. Bend at the knees and proceed to do the squat motion, but remember to make sure your knees do not go past the tip of your toes and your torso remains upright – this is key to preventing injury.

  2. Mountain Climbers — Many of my group fitness class participants can tell you that this is one of my favorite exercises. Known for being one of the most effective body weight exercises, Mountain Climbers have become a major component to many fitness programs designed for professional athletes.  The plank portion of this exercise is the most challenging part as it targets the entire core and will for sure leave you feeling the burn! Remember, if it’s burning, it’s working!

  3. Step-Up With Bicep Curls — This simple exercise combination maximizes the number of calories burned by incorporating lower and upper body movements together, similarly to the squat to press.  Start by stepping up forward and perform the bicep curl at the top of the step, then repeat on the other leg (10 reps on each leg). I encourage you to challenge yourself and increase the step height weekly!

  4. Push Ups – Enough said. We all know push ups seem so simple, but this simply functional chest and tricep exercise increases core strength and shoulder stability.  In addition,  the aesthetic benefits will result in lean sculpted arms when performed consistently.

  5. Frog jumps – This exercise will definitely engage every muscle and get your heart rate up. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and quickly extend your arms while explosively jumping forward, swinging your arms forward. Remember that your form and technique is key to getting the most out of this exercise and preventing injury. Do not bounce or wobble and concentrate on the movement while keeping your core solid through all 10 reps.

  6. Reverse lunge to lateral raise (or walking lunges) – Again, as with exercise combos 1 and 3, the same concept applies: we are combining a lower-body movement with an upper-body movement for an extra calorie boost! Start standing feet together, step back into a lunge position, bend your back leg into a 90 degree angle while making sure your front knee does not pass your toes (similar to the squat technique). Complete the exercise with a lateral raise and return to starting position. Repeat this until you have performed 10 reps on each leg).  You can also try walking lunges for an extra challenge!

  7. Burpees — There’s a reason why professional athletic teams, CrossFit practitioners and military forces use burpees in their workouts — it provides a total-body workout while improving aerobic capacities. No fancy gym equipment is required and yet this exercise method still manages to burn fat and improve strength. Begin in a squat position with both hands on the floor in front of you and simply kick your feet back to a push up position. Immediately return to your feet to a squat position and leap up as high as possible. Learn to love burpees because they truly produce great results. You can add additional intensity to your burpees by adding a vertical jump when you return to standing or a push up when you plank. For a great example, check out this YouTube video of me doing a few sets of burpees performed correctly.

  8. Bridging — Need help improving or shaping your glutes? Here is one step in the right direction! Lie on your back, engage the abdominals and lift the hips off the floor and squeeze the glutes.  For an extra challenge, do single leg bridging while continuously lifting your hips off of the ground.

  9. Sit Ups – Since you’re laying down, go ahead and knock out some classic sit ups for a quick abdominal burn! Remember to focus on pulling your belly button to the floor and keeping your upper back off of the ground without compromising your neck by pulling on your head.

  10. Tuck Jumps (or jump rope) – Just Jump! As high as you can while trying to get your knees to your chest! Be sure to land with a soft, micro bend at the knee and engage your core throughout the entire jump sequence to allow for spinal stability and knee/back injury prevention.  Not ready for this yet? Practice jump roping, but instead of 10 simple reps, increase the reps to 100 single under jumps, or you can try 10 double unders (get the rope under twice per ONE jump).

Try this combo on your own and for those of you who live in the South Florida area, make sure to look out for this program to be featured in one of my group fitness classes where you will be able to receive one-on-one assistance from me regarding intensity, technique and more!

To receive more fitness tips and advice, feel free to email me any questions or concerns: [email protected]. As a lifestyle coach, I also offer cardio workout routines & health/diet guidelines that you can combine with this regimen. For those of you interested in a one-time consultation on all of these exercises, email me and let’s connect! If you are interested in this or any other personal fitness and/or physical therapy service, feel free to reach out for a free consultation so I can provide you with more details & pricing.

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