TOTAL BODY CIRCUIT TRAINING

 

Written By Elsie Velazquez Cert. Personal Trainer Prescription Fitness

If you feel that there are not enough hours in the day and that finding time for a workout is nearly impossible on most days, this article is for you!  Why?!  Because I am going to discuss total body circuit training in this blog.  First I will give you some of the benefits to incorporating this type of training into your routine, I will provide useful tips, and I will provide a few samples of a total body circuit program you can try next time you are short on time.

BENEFITS

  • Get Maximum Results in Minimum Time: Circuit training is the perfect workout for the time-crunched person. You can fit it in whenever you have 15-30 minutes.  You’ll move quickly through exercises to work different muscle groups with little to no rest in between.  Circuit training gets your heart rate up and strengthens your muscles simultaneously.
  • Challenge Your Whole Body: By picking exercises that target all major muscle groups, it is a good way to burn lots of calories while toning all over.
  • Mix Cardio and Strength Training: Since cardio and weight training are equally important, it is smart to do both.  Circuit training is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds if you prefer one over the other because you are combining the two.
  • Send Your Metabolism Soaring: Research has shown that you’ll burn more calories in 20 minutes of circuit training than you would in an entire hour on the elliptical reading a magazine. An added bonus is that the after-burn effect will have you torching calories for up to 48 hours after your workout ends!
  • Beat Gym Boredom: Because circuit training is so flexible (you create it yourself), the options are limitless. You can swap exercises, switch the sequence, etc.

USEFUL TIPS

  • Circuit training can generally be done every 2-3 days.
  • While circuit training routines can be done with body-weight exercises, to increase the benefits, lift heavy if/when possible.
  • Perform at least one exercise per muscle group.
  • Plan your routine so that you do 3-4 sets of about 6-8 exercises for 10-12 repetitions.
  • Keep workouts to about 30 minutes…intensity should be kept high.
  • Incorporating compound movements is best (squats, DB press, rows).

SAMPLE CIRCUITS:

Pushups

Squats

Mountain climbers

Lunges

Plank

This circuit can be done with or without weight

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Squat with overhead press

Plank with row

Weighted lateral lunges

Reverse lunge with lateral raises

Alternating forward lunges

This circuit is best done with weights

I suggest working with a trainer or taking a group class so you learn how to do each exercise right if you are a beginner or are unfamiliar with proper form.