Circuit training workouts can be done in a gym, in a park, or even at home. The idea is to do different types of exercises, one set after another, without extended breaks to rest. For example, in a gym, you could do bicep curls for two sets of eight repetitions and, without resting, move directly to tricep kickbacks.
Doing one exercise after another keeps your heart rate at an efficient fat-burning level. The idea is not speed, but exercising continuously, for 20 minutes to start, if you are healthy (and adding more exercises as you gain strength). Circuit training is tailor-made for weight loss, and if you resist the temptation to speed through your workout, you will stay in the “fat-burning zone.”
Is Circuit Training Good for Beginners?
Yes: work with a certified trainer to make sure you are doing the exercise correctly and safely.
If you are healthy but have not exercised in a while, start with a realistic goal of 20 to 25 minutes. This might mean stretching for five minutes by biking or walking.
Next, plan to only do three to five different types of exercises—but still do them neatly and without any rushing or “cheating.”
At the end of your last set, cool down with an easy walk for five minutes and gentle stretching.
How Can I lose Weight with Circuit Training?
Design a sensible exercise program by tracking it on paper. Using a simple notebook, write out your goal weight and determine that you must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. A safe goal is to lose about one to two pounds per week.
Do not exceed more than two pounds a week, unless you are under direct supervision of a physician.
This means if you exercise for 30 minutes (doing circuit training twice a week), you might burn in the range of 300 to 450 calories per workout. Boost your weight loss by trimming perhaps 200 to 300 calories off your normal daily diet. Resist the temptation to crash diet; it won’t provide enough calories for a good workout, and you risk regaining the weight you lose—and more.
If you commit to doing the circuit training at least twice a week, and add another two to three more sessions of cardiovascular exercise (such as walking or biking for at least 30 minutes), you will easily lose at least one pound per week.
Try a Circuit Training Workout Now
You can do circuit training with very low-tech items:
- a staircase
- a jump rope
- a basketball.
Start by climbing the stairs for five minutes to warm up.
Next, jump rope for two to five minutes.
Continue by taking the basket ball and holding it with both hands, bend both knees slightly, and engage your lower abdominal muscles. Keeping your abs tight, turn to your right, then center and left. Repeat until a minute is up.
Lastly, cool down by walking the stairs slowly for another five minutes. Drink plenty of water and rest…you deserve it!