Shed Pounds and Boost Energy With Circuit Training Exercises
(Terrace, BC, Canada)
For a fast no-frills and intense fitness program, circuit training exercises are an excellent way to build strength and stamina. This excellent routine adds variety to your workout and helps to boost metabolism, which in turn burns fat long after you have left the gym.
There are many forms of doing a circuit. Generally, the definition of a circuit involves doing different exercises, one after another within a set amount of time. It could doing include resistance machines only, or a combination of cardio and strength training exercises. A circuit routine can focus specifically on either an upper body workout or a lower body workout on alternate days. You can also choose to do a combination of both of these circuit training exercises on the same day, plus a cardio exercise.
Example of a Circuit
To complete one of the examples listed below, plan to do two complete circuits. On each station or exercise, you will do two or three sets of 10-12 reps each. Any rest between moving from one exercise to the next should be brief, perhaps 30 seconds, but not more than 60 seconds. The aim is to keep your heart rate up. The number of exercises involved is up to you, but six to ten exercises are the norm. Machine Circuit
— At your health club, doing circuit training exercises will in part depend on the availability of the resistance machines. It is best to do it in the early morning before the circuit room gets crowded. Always start by working the larger muscles first, and finish with the smaller muscles in the arms. Start with the legs using the Leg Press, Adductor, Abductor, Curl, Extension, and Kick. The upper body workout will include the Chest Press, Lat Pull down, Shoulder Press, Chest Fly, Back Hyperextensions, Plate Crunches, Triceps Pushdowns, and Biceps Curl. Free Weights Circuit
— Again, start with the largest muscles and work those first before the smaller muscles. Sample exercises include squats, lunges, calf raises, bench press, flyes, crunches, bent over rows, and bicep curls. Even though these are speedier routines, remember to always maintain proper form while lifting. A complete circuit will take about 15 minutes and can involve barbells, dumbbells, or kettle bells. As with all the circuit training exercises listed here, cool down and stretch afterwards.Bodyweight Circuit
— Both men and women should give bodyweight training a try since it is the pure form of strength training, using only your own body as the resistance weight, and it can be done anywhere. This routine will work both the upper and lower body, and will give you a decent cardio workout as well if you keep up the pace. Exercises include squats, lunges, push-ups, chin-ups, curl-ups, crunches, sit-ups, oblique twists, and triceps dips. You can also add planks and bridges held for up to a minute. If you aren’t able to do many of the exercises such as pull-ups, try to do one or two at first. It will take a few weeks, but your upper body strength will increase just by attempting them. Resistance and Cardio Circuit Combo
— Adding cardio into the routine is another way to get your cardio heart rate way up, and step up from that plateau you’ve been stuck on. You should do the strength training first, followed by a moderate form of cardio exercise such as 30 minutes on a treadmill
, elliptical, or stationary bike. You can use any of the three methods of resistance training above — machines, free weights, or bodyweight — just remember to keep your heart rate elevated throughout the final cardiovascular phase of the circuit training exercises.
Keep Up the Pace for Best Results
This mini-workout program can be done several times a week as a break from your normal workout routine. It is not meant to replace your regular schedule of resistance training and cardio. It should be used as a variation every other month to mix up your workout and challenge your body in a new way it is not accustomed to.
Circuit training exercises need to be INTENSE in order to be effective. Don’t go squidgy and use light weights or do press less than your best effort. Use the time (it doesn’t take that long!) to sweat during these workouts.
The benefit of doing circuit training exercises is that you are building stronger bones and muscle fibers, which in term increases metabolism to burn more fat and calories. This benefit continues long after your training session ends as a fit body possesses a higher post-exercise metabolism. About the Author:
Kevin Urban is the editor of TreadmillTalk.com. Visit the site for treadmill reviews
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