If you’re trying to get in the best shape ever in a short time, you should consider circuit training. This style of workout torches calories without requiring you to spend hours in the gym.
In this method of training, you utilize several stations designed to work various body parts. By moving from one to the other with little to no rest, you keep your heart rate elevated while building biceps The Rock would envy. Here are eight benefits of circuit training and why you should incorporate it into your workout regimen.
Rest time? Who needs it? One of the benefits of circuit training is keeping your body in near-constant motion by alternating muscle groups. You might follow a lower-body exercise with an upper-body one to give your quads a break, but the beat goes on within your chest.
Because of the two-for-one nature of this training style, you’ll spend less time at the gym. However, you don’t need a fitness center membership to reap the benefits. If you have dumbbells or even milk jugs at home, you can set up different stations — more on that shortly.
Maybe you’re one of many who hits the gym because you find the camaraderie inspires you. Research does indicate that working out with others can help provide motivation.
With circuit training, it’s no sweat if someone lingers on the leg extension machine, scrolling their iPhone between sets. You can work hamstrings or hack squats instead until that station opens — you don’t have to complete the exercises in a given order.
Sometimes, people stick to one form of exercise they love, such as running. If you do this, you might have sleek, toned legs but a neglected upper body.
Circuit training works all muscle groups, and by its nature, forces you to alternate upper and lower body moves to keep your blood flowing. Therefore, you run less of a chance of developing one while neglecting the other. The impact isn’t only cosmetic — muscle imbalances can lead to overuse injuries in high-strain areas.
Who said you needed to spend hours in the gym for a mega-calorie burn? Circuit training keeps you moving, meaning that you scorch fat with no rest in between.
The belly-busting effects don’t stop when you leave the gym. Because muscle cells are more metabolically active than their fatty cousins, you burn more calories even when at rest. If you needed another reason to get over your fear of the weight bench, there you go.
Any form of exercise can help you blast away stress. Circuit training works effectively because no breaks in between sets mean your mind never has time to ruminate over what your boss meant when they made that cryptic remark about your budget report.
Plus, exercise releases endorphins. These natural opioid-like chemicals elevate your mood while dulling chronic pain — all without any adverse addictive properties.
Unlike a traditional training session where your coach gathers your equipment while you relax, circuit training requires you to move from one station to another. If you wear a pedometer, you know that every step counts toward your daily quota.
If you feel extra energetic, who says you have to walk? You can shuffle or jog between stations, assuming that overcrowded conditions don’t make doing so a safety hazard.
If your workout regimen bores you, circuit training may be the answer to getting back your pep. Even though you may spend 30 minutes in the gym, you aren’t laboriously logging those seconds on a treadmill. One of the peak benefits of circuit training is that it doesn’t allow time for boredom.
Some circuit training programs do incorporate cardio intervals, so feel free. However, instead of slogging away at the elliptical for the 20-minute maximum allowable time, you might do two minutes before moving on to something else.
If working out with others still gives you pause, stay home to get in your circuit. All you need to do is set up various stations around your house.
Plunk those milk jugs on your kitchen counter — you can use them for biceps curls and dead lifts. Do you have a set of stairs? You can run up them or balance on one for calf raises. If your ottoman isn’t working too hard, play job-creator by putting it to use for single-leg squats and lunges.
If your fitness routine feels stale, this workout regimen may answer your prayers. Reap the benefits of circuit training with the eight tips above.