What is circuit training?
Circuit training is a training method. Typically, circuits are a series of exercises performed one after the other at a higher intensity with short periods of rest in between. You rest longer once you reach the end of a set before you repeat it. Depending on your time and fitness, you can have up to 10 exercises in a circuit or as few as 3 or 4.
If you want fat loss results, you should include circuit training in your program. You can use weights, machines or body weight - or combine of all these methods for your circuit training. Circuit training combines both weights and cardio so you can combine intervals of high-intensity cardio with heavy weight lifting for a comprehensive and seriously effective fat-blasting workout.
Circuit training is very effective for promoting fat loss. It maximises calorie burning throughout your entire workout because you have less-frequent rest periods. The more time you spend exercising, the more calories you burn in your session.
The more constant your movement and the harder you trainer, the more calories you'll burn overall. Ensure you set up all the equipment you're going to need for your circuit before you start training.
Lasting Metabolic Benefits
High intensity training benefits don't stop when your workout is over.
Research * shows that circuit training workouts promote a higher post-exercise excess oxygen consumption, or EPOC, than traditional cardio workouts.
EPOC refers to the metabolic boost your body keeps up in the hours and up to days after your workout.
EPOC is important for fat loss as it can be a significant source of additional calorie burn.
My Two Favourite Circuit Fat Loss Strategies
Want to enhance the calorie burning and weight loss potential of your circuit training even more? Do these 2 things.
1. Choose intensive exercises for the cardio component of your training. I'd recommend treadmill sprints or skipping for example.
Use compound weight training exercises like squats and chest press for resistance work. Compound exercises are exercises that use multiple joints and muscle groups so they burn more calories than isolation exercises.
2. LIFT FIRST! Research* has shown that you should perform cardio exercises in the later in your workout and focus your energy on weight-lifting compound exercises at the beginning of your workout to boost fat burning.
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* August 2005 issue of the "European Journal of Applied Physiology"
* February 2007 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"