Health Fitness Beauty | Natural Health | Fitness | Woman Health | Online Doctor

Feb 20, 2011

A Weights and Cardio Circuit Training Program

Even if some weight loss and fitness ideas in the exercise sciences have not been realized to the extent we all wished for, there is no doubt that the ultimate fat burning and fitness criterion is how much energy you expend in physical activity, whether organized activity or non-exercise activity. It all adds up and there is no doubt that building extra muscle to increase metabolism, and exercising at an intensity that increases post-exercise metabolism, all contribute to losing fat and enabling us to slim down and get fit.

Before you get into the detail, or at any time, it may be useful to check out our Ten Top Exercises for hints on form and technique.

What is Circuit Training?

This circuit training is a combination of high-intensity aerobics and resistance training designed to be easy to follow, give you a great workout, and target fat loss, muscle building and heart-lung fitness. An exercise "circuit" is one completion of all prescribed exercises in the program; the idea being that when one circuit is complete, you start at the first exercise again for another circuit. Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise. My program has only five exercises.

The Basic Program

If you follow the complete program of three circuits at the nominated intensity plus warmup and cool down, you should expend at least 600 kcalories (2500 kjoules) – not bad considering you get strength development and cardio at the same time in under an hour of activity. Starting out, you can choose to do only one or two circuits and then progress to three or more and adjust weights and repetitions upward to suit your fitness as you progress.

You could do this program four or five times in a week but my recommendation is to do no more than three sessions and supplement that with a at least one pure cardio session like treadmill, walking or running, plus at least one pure strength training day on the weights.

Combining weights and aerobics in circuits or interval training, or on alternate days, is not new. However, there is scientific evidence that it works to improve overall fitness and metabolism (Park 2003, LeMura 2006). Some similar programs make the mistake of using light weights or an intensity that is too low.

No comments: