Circuit training a great place to kick start new workout plans circa April 4-10, 2013; Seminole Chronicle
Lately I've noticed many adults exercising in the circuit training area at the gym.
This is the ideal place to begin an exercise program. Circuit training takes the guess work out of what could be a very confusing weight training program.
The machines in the circuit area are set up for a full-body workout beginning with the largest muscle group. They provide aerobic activity if so desired, are less intimidating than the free weight area and are not boring - they get people moving quickly from one station to the next with little or no rest in between.
Circuit training is a series of exercises alternating among specific muscle groups - chest, back, legs, shoulders/arms and abs - by a set time or a certain number of repetitions.
Little rest of approximately 15 to 30 seconds or no rest at all is needed in between each station, because muscle groups are being alternated between upper body and lower body.
Circuits could consist of six or as many as 10 stations. Aerobic activity for bouts of 30 seconds, up to a minute depending on one's fitness level, may be included in between the weight training stations.
Examples of aerobic activity are step, jump, rope, cycling, rowing, stair-master and elliptical trainer.
After completing each circuit, one should rest for a longer period before repeating the stations, usually one or two minutes. The number of circuits to complete depends on one's fitness level and goal.
If your goal is to increase cardiovascular endurance, PHA training keeps blood moving from one body part to another, will fatigue you quicker than other circuits and is similar to a weight training session due to maintaining a high heart rate with short rest periods.
PHA training is performing a group of exercises, depending on available time, typically four to six for a particular muscle group.
Push-ups, chest presses, chest flys, lat pull-downs and pull-ups.
One-arm rows, reverse flys, lat pull-downs and pull-ups.
Lower body exercises
Walking lunges, leg extensions, leg presses and squats.
Continue in this manner with shoulders/arms and abs repeating all four exercises in each muscle group at least three times, anywhere from eight to 12 repetitions, then moving onto the next muscle group.
Cardiovascular and flexibility stations may be added to this type of training, as well. With little or no equipment, an effective circuit workout may be performed at home by using stairs, jogging in place or jumping jacks for cardiovascular activities and strength exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges and sit ups. Bands, tubing, weighted balls, stable chairs, or a partner may also be used. Be creative with what you have around the home, inside and outside.
Whether you are beginning an exercise plan or are advanced, you can modify the circuit stations to your fitness level.
Circuit training may be a little more exciting than your typical weight training session and is best for improving strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and reducing fat. Begin all training sessions with a proper warm-up.
*Circuit training is ideal when beginning a new exercise program.
*Circuit training takes the guess work out of what could be an intimidating weight training session for beginners.
*Circuit training is a full body workout improving strength and endurance, and cardiovascular fitness.
*Circuit training is exciting, moving quickly from station station with little or no rest in between.
* Circuit training may be modified for the advanced and performed at home or outdoors with little or no equipment.
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From January 2012 thru May of 2013 I was the Seminole Chronicle's Fitness Columnist. Here you will find all of my published articles.