The Advantages of Circuit Training
Every year more people seem to struggle to stay in shape. One of the most common questions that I am asked is “what exercise can I do at home to lose weight?”. Every time I hear this question I have to wonder, where did out education system break down?
Almost every person at some point in their childhood done a physical education class, whether in school PC class or sports training. During thees classes the sports coach teaches a range of body-weight exercises to get the kids fit for a variety of sports and athletics.
Some people now call these exercises “old school” which is slightly perplexing as they are still done in most good schools today. But my point here is that these exercises which are taught in school are the ideal exercises to keep people in shape for the rest of their lives. So why do people keep forgetting how to exercise? Where PE lessons really so bad that people block the memories of push ups, jumping jacks and mountain climbers from their memory?
Getting fit at home is really easy if you follow a simple circuit training workout on a regular basis. Circuit training is simply when you perform a sequence of exercises and then repeat them several times. Traditionally each exercise will be done at a “station” in a gym and participants will move from one station to the next at set intervals. However, when you are working out by yourself stations are not required.
What is great about circuit training is that you can perform a series of exercises at home. You work to your fitness levels and you can always push yourself harder to get fitter by doing more exercises and more circuits.
Circuit training workouts have other advantages. Weather is never an issue as you can workout indoors. If you travel on business, no problem, as you can do a workout in your hotel room. Cost is also not a problem as you can exercise for free and need no equipment at all.
So, what makes a good circuit training workout? A good workout will provide a variety of exercises that work your whole body. There should be some cardio exercises are some which are more strength based. Here is a typical circuit:
- Jumping Jacks – these make a good warm up
- Squats – work the glutes, great for burning fat
- Push Ups – exercise the chest and shoulder joints.
- Lunges – Increase leg strength and flexibility
- Back extensions – builds lower back strength and core stability
- Mountain climbers – cardio and abs workout
- Burpees – the intensive combination of a squat, squat thrust and push up
- Crunches – classic abdominal exercise
These 8 exercises form the core of a solid workout, Notice how each exercise works a different body part so that you do not exhaust one part too soon.
There are 2 ways to exercise in circuit training – either a set time for each exercise or a set number of repetitions. At home it is easiest to set yourself a set number of reps for each exercise, in a group session it has to be timed so that everyone moves on at the same time.
To use the above circuit at home the easiest method would be to perform 20 repeats of each exercise before moving on to the next one. Then repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times. As you get fitter you aim to perform more repetitions of the exercises, take shorter rests between them and perform more circuits. It really is that simple.
So long as you aim in each workout to do a litter more you will get fitter over time. It does not have to be much. For example, if you decide to exercise 3 times a week you could just increase the number of reps for each exercise by 1 each week, starting with 10 reps each and performing 2 circuits. Within 4 months you will be performing over 20 reps for each exercise – doubling your work effect and improving your fitness too.
Remember also that more exercise means more fat burning and increased metabolism. This workout can be done in the small space next to your bed wherever you are. You now have no excuse for not exercising at all, so hop to it, and start getting fit, old school style!