Saturday, January 19, 2013

Circuit Training

A few years ago, my middle son heard me preaching the benefits of circuit training clients and got all kinds of jealous because he thought we were doing "circus training." It's exciting in its own way, however, as circuit training combines the benefits of resistance training with the benefits of cardiovascular exercise by treating your heart and lungs to an intensity, sadly, missing from a lot of weight rooms. This type of training is particularly beneficial if you live in an area where winter weather prevents you from performing outdoor activities or sports. This type of training is great for busy people, as you can get a very intense workout in quickly. You'd be surprised at what 15-20 minutes of this can do for you. It's pretty simple. You just pick a handful of exercises, and perform a set of each, one right after the other with no (or just a little) rest. You'll instantly feel the workout your heart and lungs are getting. As with all exercise, avoid over-training. A basic upper body circuit could look like this: Execute 6-12 repetitions of the following exercises, using a moderately challenging amount of weight- Dumbbell Bench Press, Barbell Curl, Chin-ups, Tricep Kickbacks, Dumbbell Shoulder Press. Rest, Repeat until you begin experiencing momentary muscle failure
Here's a Full-Body Circuit utilizing your own body weight as resistance: Burpees x 10-12 reps Lunges x 6-10 reps; Squats (as low to the floor as you can) x 10-15 reps; Push-Ups x 10-20 reps; Crunches x 10-15 reps; Chin-Ups x 4-10 reps Rest, Repeat Give yourself a good minute and half rest between circuits when you're just starting out. Obviously, if you have heart or lung issues this is not the workout for you. Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout program, and if you can afford to hire a trainer you can save a lot of wear and tear on your body, while amplifying your results. I'll see you at the "circus." Be well, Friend.

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