Circuit training has been around for years, but you still might have not incorporated it into your fitness routine. So what’s circuit training anyway?
Basically circuit training combines strength building exercises and high-intensity aerobic activity with no (or very little) rest between each exercise in the “circuit.” Once you complete the circuit (the series of exercises), you immediately start over with the first exercise again.
Circuit training for weight loss
If you want to lose weight, circuit training is a must. Exercising at a fast pace and intermingling aerobic activity and weights can really help to increase your metabolic rate — and thus helping you lose weight. With your heart rate up, you burn plenty of calories throughout the circuit. Plus, it’s a lot more fun that just running on a treadmill or another mundane machine.
Circuit training for runners
If you often get injured while running (or you are just starting out), circuit training may be the answer for you. With circuit training, you won’t be running five miles at once but you can develop running-specific strength. Competitor.com features a really good piece with details on how circuit training can improve your running.
Circuit training for weight lifters
Circuit training is awesome for weight lifters who are trying to build muscle and burn some fat at the same time. You’d be surprised at effective and time-efficient circuit training can be. Remember, you must have proper form and not use too light of weights if you expect to build muscle mass properly.
New York Sports Clubs Master Trainer Ken Szekretar developed a fast, easy and doable workout several years ago for those who lead fast-paced lifestyles and want to get in shape. This workout is very effective and will show results in no time.
Start with 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Treadmill, spin bike, stepmill, elliptical, row machine can all be used. The goal is to get the heart rate up to 70-85% of your maximum and hold it there for the 10-15 minutes.
Next you’ll do a weight training circuit to strengthen and sculpt the muscles. The circuit will target the legs, core, and arms. The circuit is as follows:
- Squat, curl to overhead press – This all in one exercise will get the legs, glutes, biceps and shoulders all in the same exercise.
- BOSU plank with hand walking – This is a great way to help flatten the tummy and target the chest and triceps at the same time.
- Lateral lunge with lateral raise – This focuses on the inner and outer thighs while helping to sculpt shapely shoulders.
- Combination deadlift and bent over row - Here we get the glutes and hamstrings to tighten the back of the legs and develop a strong shapely back at the same time.
- Medicine ball squat chops with rotation – Now we get the oblique’s involved while again targeting the legs and arms at the same time.
The above circuit can be done 2-4 times, depending on one’s schedule. Try to go from one exercise to the next without taking a rest until the full circuit is complete. The rest period should be kept to 30-90 seconds depending on the participant’s fitness level.
Once the weight portion of the workout is done, another cardio session similar to the one at the beginning is added. A 10-15 minute session is recommended with an intensity of 70-85% of maximum heart rate. This will help to burn more calories, decrease muscle soreness, and get the body in shape in no time.