Getting the Most Out of Circuit Training
Circuit training has numerous benefits. Firstly, it will increase your general level of fitness, which enables you to get more out of life and feel on top of the world. Secondly, it is the best way to boost the cardiovascular system with aerobic activity for overall health. As well as this, you will gain strength; build and define your muscles; tone your body, giving it a sleeker appearance; and lose weight. We show you how to maximise your circuit training for the best results.
What Is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is a high-intensity method of exercising that addresses the whole body to achieve the advantages already mentioned. It does not give the heart rate a chance to move to a slower rhythm by maintaining a flow of discrete exercises that are performed in sets, with minimal breaks. Lean muscle mass continues to increase, and fat keeps on being burnt up even after the training for the day is done.
The programme consists of a group of exercises that can be done in one of two ways. Vertical circuit training is when all the exercises are performed in a sequence. This makes up one circuit, which is then repeated a certain number of times. Horizontal circuit training involves doing all the sets of a particular exercise, then the full number of repetitions of the second exercise, and so on until all the exercises have been performed to the required number for each set.
Deciding On a Programme
If you do your circuit training at a gym, you will be able to take advantage of several stations for each exercise. But you can still select a suitable programme when working out at home, provided you include an upper body workout, a lower body set, and cardio exercises. You can do these in order, for example, cardio, upper body, cardio, lower body, cardio. If you want to vary the exercises in each set, you can do so by changing the exercise for every circuit, or you can stick to one exercise.
For upper body workouts, possible options for each circuit are push-ups, standing dumbbell curves, bent-over rows, triceps dips, shoulder presses, and Russian ab twists. Lower body exercises to consider are walking lunges, calf raises, deadlifts, sumo squats, hamstring curls with a Swiss ball, and Supermans. Total body movements that are perfect for increasing the heart rate are jumping lunges, thrusters, bench hop-overs, mountain climbers, cleans, and single-arm swings. Cardio exercises include fast sprints, jumping rope, cycling, running, rowing, stair climbing, up-hill jogging, skipping, elliptical trainer, treadmill, and stationary bikes.
Advice for Beginners
A beginner would still perform all the exercises of the chosen programme but will do fewer sets than someone who has been doing circuit training for a while. However, most people select a time period, e.g., half an hour, and complete as many circuits as they can in that time. If you are just starting, stick to fifteen minutes as your limit. This is useful as it sets a time limit on your exercise session so that you can fit it into your day. Initially, you may only include two or three laps, but as your fitness and strength improve, this will increase. Thus, the vertical method is often preferred.
To the novice, all the possible exercises might seem overwhelming, but you should always start simple with any exercise programme, and circuit training is no different. Initially, stick to one type of exercise that you repeat in sets. Also, try both the horizontal and vertical methods and see what works best for you. The vertical method has the advantage of completing full circuits before your time runs out, whereas using the horizontal way may have you spending all your time on one aspect of the body and not getting to exercise other parts.
Try to increase the number of circuits you can do in fifteen minutes. If you only managed one for the first few sessions, keep at it until you can complete two full circuits during this time. Thereafter, gradually increase your circuit training sessions to half an hour. Again, work on doing more total circuits. Once you have reached this level, start to vary the types of exercises for each body part. Jump down a level to a shorter session with each new exercise you bring in and focus on doing the movements correctly before you worry about your speed.
For Advanced Circuit Training
The 321 method is used by many famous Hollywood actresses and actors for their workouts. You do three minutes of strength training, using five different strength exercises in this category. This is followed by two minutes of cardio, again with five varied moves. Then, you complete five core moves in one minute.
This may sound simple but being able to achieve all these exercises in the given times is tricky. You can bring the changes by sticking to one exercise, repeated five times, in each of the 321 sets. Once you master this, start to vary the exercises in each set.
Take a Break
Having a regular, fixed routine for circuit training is essential. But you also have to allow for some downtime to recover. This includes your immediate recovery after a session, where stretching will restore circulation and flexibility.
However, it is also important that you get enough sleep. The recommended hours for athletes are eight to nine hours per night. If you find this difficult to achieve, find a way to unwind earlier in the evening. Many athletes find OnlineCasinos a relaxing way to change gears. This is a fun activity to gradually let go of the day’s tensions. Then, half an hour before bed, switch off all your electronics and simply enjoy the silence.
Make sure that you are eating a healthy diet with enough protein to recharge the body and allow it to carry out repairs while you sleep. This is the time when most healing takes place. If you feel you need a snack before bedtime, try cottage cheese as this will aid the body’s remedial work.
Circuit training is a complete body workout that can be done in half-hour sessions daily.
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