Circuit Training For Maximum Results In Minimum Time;
The truth about typical strength training;
As apposed to circuit training, strength training was all about, ‘Lift as hard as you can, go for 8 – 10 repetitions and then take a break for around 2 minutes.’ Everyone who has been into weight training knows this weight training methodology. The result was that you saw men and women hitting it hard on the weights for a fixed number of repetitions and rested for long periods of time before they can repeat what they just did! Breaking this down in terms of time this is what you get.
Time taken for a single set: 45 seconds
Resting period between each set: 90 seconds
In terms of efficiency, you were working out only 33% of the total time! Very mathematical, isn’t it? Now what happens is that if you’re working out for an hour, you’re actually working out only for about eighteen minutes of the time! For the rest of the time you are resting and replenishing energy or setting up equipment for the next exercise. This method works great for people who are really lifting heavy weights, but from my personal experience as a fitness trainer, and just general observation around different gyms, that is not entirely the case for everyone.
Look around next time you’re in the gym, and you’ll see this happening everywhere yourself.
Most people are lifting very moderate weights in terms of their true capability, but still they opt for a long period of rest in between sets. What happens is that at the end of 60 minutes or 90 minutes they assume that they have just finished a grueling workout but in reality they worked out only for the 33% of the total time! Seems like a waste of time doesn’t it.
It is for this reason, many people don’t see the desired results and get discouraged over time from their weight training schedule. Another downfall of this method is that it usually involves working only one or two muscle groups each day.
Working out in such a fashion is favorable if you’re really looking to pack on muscle mass. But that isn’t the case for most women who opt for weight or resistance training. Women want a well-sculpted, and possibly even ripped look, and beyond their body image, they want to achieve more in a limited amount of time.
Would you like to get real results in half the time?
This is where circuit training comes to the rescue. Circuit training (as the name suggests) involves hitting multiple muscle groups, or if you choose to focus more on certain muscle groups, stressing them with a variety of exercises in a single workout session.
The technique is simple; complete one set targeting one muscle group and then move on to the next set without any break. This next set will target another muscle group or target the same muscle’s with a different exercise to give you a really intense workout. Keep moving onto the next muscle group / exercise until you run out of muscle groups!
So, what exactly are the advantages of circuit training? Here are some to begin with:
- It is a great calorie burn. You are working out for at least 80 – 90 % of the total workout time.
- Very good cardiovascular workout. Your heart beat is usually in the red zone.
- You save time.
- You get to target more muscles in a single day, giving you free days to try out other modes of training.
- Circuit training supports a higher hormone release triggering a better fat burn, muscle growth response.
One of the really useful things about circuit training is that you can structure some really effective training using nothing but body weight exercises. So even if you don’t have access to a gym, there’s no excuse for not including some great circuit training in your fitness regime.
One simple program to improve your physique;
I’ve completed the following circuit workout program as an example of this type of training. It’s got some great plyometric exercises that give your muscles an explosive workout, and will really get your heart rate up.
There’s a mix of upper and lower body strength required, along with some abs. If you haven’t done much of this type of training before, then you may find this pretty challenging, and it’ll definitely make your sore the next day! You might want to start by completing thirty seconds of each exercise rather than 1 minute each, and work your way up.
- Skipping x 1 minute
- Lunges x 1 minute
- Ab roller x 1 minute
- Frog hops x 1 minute
- Box jumps x 1 minute
- Plank x 1 minute
- Push ups x 1 minute
That’s one circuit done. Take one minutes rest, and then complete again. Four rounds of this circuit will take you just thirty-two minutes to complete, including rest between sets, and I guarantee that you’ll have had a great calorie burn and know that you’ve trained.
Give it a try, and see how it compares to what you may have been doing with weights in the gym previously. I’d love to know how you go, so please let me know in the comments below.