For those who can't choose between treadmills and dumbbells, there's circuit training: a series of aerobic exercises and resistance exercises performed in rapid succession. The circuit of exercises can be repeated as necessary. Typical circuit training exercises include squats, lunges, jumping rope, running, sit-ups, push-ups and weightlifting. Of course, you can create a custom circuit that fits your fitness goals.
Benefits of circuit training: Circuit training can potentially benefit anyone interested in increased fitness. The outcome of circuit training depends on the types of exercises performed during a work out. Circuits should be personalized, catering to an individual's specific fitness level and goals. Ask a trainer for advice.
Who circuit training is best for: Exercisers spend a set amount of time at each station, for as little as 30 seconds up to several minutes. This length of time can be adjusted for each circuit trainee. Circuit training can also target a specific body part, facilitating weight loss and targeting problem areas.
The consecutive exercises build endurance, agility, speed, and strength. The mix of exercises in circuit training can prevent boredom from setting in—and make exercisers more likely to return to the gym.
Getting ready: First time trainees should start off slowly and not overtax muscles and joints.
Calories burned: Circuit training has the potential to burn about 30 percent more calories than weight lifting alone. A 30 minute circuit training session can burn approximately 330 calories, depending on the intensity of the circuit. Weight, age, gender and metabolism speed also affect the number of calories burned from circuit training.
Circuit training is a popular form of exercise and is responsible for toning some of Hollywood's most coveted bodies. Blake Lively and Katherine Heigl are among the A-listers who have at one point enlisted circuit training to shape up for a movie role. Jake Gyllenhaal incorporated circuit training into his fitness regimen in order to play the strapping lead role in Prince of Persia.
Warm up before engaging in circuit training exercises to prevent injury.
Who shouldn't do it: Individuals with bad knees should not include high-impact exercises in the circuit.