I love circuit training! It keeps you moving and elevates your heart rate throughout the workout. Instead of just doing a steady-state cardio routine on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then slowly milling around the gym doing your weight routine, blend them together! I like to warm up and move in multiple planes, like walking then doing grapevines, arms circles, side bends, etc. Gets the blood flowing and lubricates the joints a bit before loading them and the muscles up.
After a 5-15 minute warm up, I'll do a resistance station for 1 minute, then do a cardio activity for another minute. I'll hit all the major muscle groups with an exercise or two with a cardio interval in between each exercise. Cardio intervals could be anything from marching in place (if you're just starting an exercise program) to jumping rope, or sprints down the street or hall way.
Here are a few tips to increase your results from your workouts
- challenge yourself in small but fairly intense bouts, either with speed work while doing cardio exercise, or increase the weight during your resistance portion of your work outs
- work up your heart rate not just your sweat rate when doing cardio intervals. (Just because you sweat doesn't mean your working out hard. The opposite is true too. We all have different sweat responses to physical activity.)
- ways to increase your resistance challenge include
- slowing the reps down
- increasing your reps
- holding the weights in a static position for up to 1 minute,
- increase the weight!
- mix it up with variety so you and your body don't get bored
- do a lower body exercise at the same time as an upper body exercise, lunges and curls, plies and overhead presses, squats and tricep presses, etc. (this applies to lower-weight, muscular-endurance exercises)
- don't rest between exercises, move quickly!
- have fun!
- do it outside!
Ok, now get off the computer now and go outside and play!