Last week we defined circuit training and discussed some of the great benefits that accompany this training method. This posting will guide you through what a typical circuit could look like. How should you Circuit Train? When completing the circuit it’s usually best to select a set of exercises that in combination will stimulate most of your body’s musculature. In addition, selecting a variety of exercises for each muscle group is very important to ensure the body continually adapts to the training stimuli. Moreover, working from the largest muscle groups in the body to the smallest is generally recommended (See Figure 1).
When prepping for your circuit, go through each major muscle group and select 1-3 exercises to perform for each work-out. If you have trouble identifying multiple exercises for each muscle group call the Physical Activity Line: 8-1-1.
If you’re just starting out, your goal should be to complete one full round of the circuit with minimal rest in between.
If you’re intermediate and or advanced and have experience with strength and resistance training, your goal should be to complete the circuit a minimum of 2 times working up to 4 or 5 full rotations.
In general, 2-3 rounds of the circuit with higher repetitions is generally enough to get a great workout (P.S. New research promotes the muscle building capabilities of light weights). If we are able to do a circuit 2-3x per week we should be receiving great health benefits!
When selecting weight, you want to execute at least 15 repetitions. You want to be fatigued by the final couple repetitions to the point where you have to focus to complete the set. Feel free to alter the weight according to the above description to achieve a solid training stimulus.
In addition, using your own body weight is totally acceptable (e.g. variety of push-ups, sit ups, pull ups,and dips require no weight and provide a great training stimulus). FYI: the use of your own body weight as a resistance is called calisthenics and is a great way to train (for more info on calisthenics please check back for a future blog post).
Remember to listen to your body, don’t push yourself over the edge, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
I hope this is of use to you and HAPPY TRAINING!
Sincerely, Marc Faktor.
~ The first wealth is health! (RW Emerson) , MOVE THOSE BODIES PEOPLE!
FIGURE 1: GENERALIZED CIRCUIT EXAMPLE
- Don't forget to warm up! Light intensity aerobics utilizing all major muscle goups. This will decrease your risk for injury by ensuring your joints are lubricated, nervous system is fired up, and and muscles have adequate blood flow to ensure nutrient exchange.
- Complete 1-5 rotations at a fast yet safe pace depending on ability.
- Select a variety of exercises