One of the most challenging and effective types of training you can do, circuit training gives you the benefits of strength training and cardio training all within the same workout.
Because it combines styles, circuit training is the perfect type of workout for moms, executives and anyone else who doesn’t have time to spend standing around waiting to start your next exercise.
Let’s take a look at what circuit training is and how to set up your own workout.
Circuit Training Defined
Circuit training is a type of workout where you move quickly from one exercise to another without stopping to rest between exercises.
The exercises you choose are up to you but ideally should target all the major muscle groups, giving you a well rounded training session that takes from 20 minutes to an hour to complete.
Circuit training can be tailored to your fitness level and the amount of time you have to train. It’s a perfect workout for your home gym since you’ll have immediate access to all of the various work stations.
Circuit training is a great way to boost your metabolism. For one thing, it’s a high intensity workout that burns a significant number of calories in its own right.
Secondly, circuit training helps build muscle, and muscle tissue requires a considerable amount of metabolic support for maintenance. In essence, the more lean muscle you have, other things being equal, the higher your metabolism.
How to Design a Circuit Training Program
Circuit training sessions are usually designed around 8-12 exercises or exercise stations. You perform a set number of repetitions at each station before moving on quickly to the next.
The cardio component of circuit training comes from the lack of rest between exercises. Your heart rate gets progressively higher as you go along and you also get a great strength and muscular endurance workout.
First of all, choose a series of exercises for your program. You can choose exercises for all muscle groups or target a specific muscle group, and you should alternate different muscle groups for each exercise.
For example, if you start with push-ups, you should choose a muscle group other than your chest and shoulders for the next exercise. This gives those muscles a chance to rest while you work on another area of your body.
Next decide the number of reps at each station. Some people prefer to perform each exercise for a set period of time, such as one minute, rather than counting reps.
Do whatever you prefer. The key is to perform a range of exercises continuously to provide a solid aerobic or anaerobic workout while making gains in both strength and muscular endurance.
Finally, decide how many sets of each circuit you want to do. Generally, it’s best to start with one set and add additional sets as your fitness improves.
Circuit training is a great way to make the most of the time you have available to exercise. Why not give it a try?
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