It may seem like a no brainer: spend less time in the gym, get better results, but I rarely see anyone practicing this workout technique. Circuiting, or super setting, combines both strength and cardio into the same workout routine. This means you don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill and then have to go pump some iron to see results.
Here are the elements of a circuit workout:
1) No Rest
We see it all the time, someone does a set of bicep curls and then walks around the gym for a minute afterwards. Then they do it over again. This rest time might be necessary for the arms but why should the legs just be hanging out? This arm rest time is the perfect time to work those legs!
2) Alternate Muscle Groups
To elaborate on the previous point, this focuses on the fact that by alternating the muscle groups worked, you are being more efficient with your time in the gym. You don’t always have to alternate though, you can have hardcore days where you fully exhaust each muscle group before moving on to the next one. Keeping the body guessing will help to keep it challenged and prevent a plateau.
3) Incorporate Cardio
Eliminating the rest time will already increase the intensity of the cardio aspect of your workout but adding additional cardio into your sets can really fire up your calorie burning! Jumping jacks, jumping rope or even jogging in place can step up that heart rate!
4) Equipment Efficiency
When doing program design, in addition to making sure I’m achieving the client’s goals, I’m also trying to make the workout as efficient as possible. It takes time to switch around weights or equipment and that means your heart rate will lower and valuable time will be lost. Using just a set or 2 of dumbbells can keep the workout flowing and the body working.
5) Smart and Simple
Doing circuit training that combines your strength and cardio will help you spend less time in the gym and still see results, maybe even better results because you’ll be pushing the limits of your body by upping the intensity. I’m a firm believer in getting the job done, then moving on!
Sample Dumbbell Circuit Workout:
- Bicep Curls
- Standing Lunges
- Shoulder Press
- Toe Raises
- Goal Post Tilt
- Plank (hold for 20 seconds)
Do 10 reps of each exercise and then move to the next one. Do the full circuit 2-3 times, depending on your time allowance.
This is just one of the many short, intense workouts available at EverydayBetter.com. Sign up for our 10 Pound Cut Down program that will help you lose 10 pounds in a month by working out less than 1 hour a week!