Picking the right type of workout for your goals can mean the difference between sticking with it and meeting them or getting bored and walking away. Circuit training is one of the more popular types of workouts and for good reason -- it's known to burn calories for a stronger, leaner physique quickly.
What Is Circuit Training?
Circuit training involves performing short, timed bursts of resistance training and cardio. You typically work one part of the body at a time, moving through each exercise until you've worked out the entire body, or, completed the circuit. To perform a circuit workout, you need to set up stations in advance so you can move quickly between them. One station might be a stationary bike, the next a jump rope, then free weights, a step and so on.
A circuit workout can be just minutes long with just a few exercises or it can involve a larger variety of exercises. You can also repeat the circuit multiple times. Circuit training is typically done at moderate to high intensity with a high amount of repetitions designed to burn fat quickly.
Why It Works
Because of the fast pace of a circuit workout, you can work toward great results in just minutes. This is because you're keeping your heart rate elevated, which means more calorie burn, longer -- your metabolism will actually stay elevated for up to 48 hours. Circuit training allows you to make sure you don't miss any of the body's major and minor muscle groups, so you develop strong muscles and a balanced body. You're also less likely to get bored and start zoning out, perhaps like you would if you were spending just 45 minutes on a treadmill. Bottom line: You'll push harder.
But these benefits do more than make you look good. A 2013 study published in the medical journal Lipids in health and disease found circuit training at a high intensity can help improve blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which impact overall cardiovascular health. A previous study, conducted in 2011 and published in the medical journal Medicine and science in sports and exercise showed regular circuit training reduced fat for weight loss while also improving insulin resistance in adolescents (in this case, Latino). Both of these benefits reduce the risk for weight-related medical issues, like diabetes.
Tips for Success
Beginning any new exercise program takes careful planning. Make sure to check in with your physician if you suffer from a medical condition or previous injury to make sure a new routine is safe for you. Once you're cleared to start, here are some tips to keep in mind when circuit training:
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
- Eat a balanced meal of fats, protein and carbohydrates up to an hour before beginning your workout.
- Do dynamic stretches for five to 10 minutes before starting your workout.
- Do static stretches for five to 10 minutes after your workout ends.
- Eat a meal with plenty of protein afterwards to encourage muscle recovery.
- Drink tart cherry juice to prevent muscle soreness the next day.
- Schedule at least one rest day per week into your routine.
You can find supplements like protein powder and amino acids to help you excel during your circuit workout to make your gains at the gym at eVitamins. Shop today and check back tomorrow for even more tips and health news.
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