At Pro Active I like to prescribe circuit training for fat loss and general toning up because it keeps you moving by only allowing you to take minimal breaks between exercises.
This workout is different from other programmes you may have followed. For example, it differs from workouts that target one or two specific muscle groups. Circuit training, on the other hand, works because it causes you to push your body aerobically, while challenging the strength of all your muscles.
If you’re a man, you probably think that circuit training is something done with light weights. As soon as fitness levels improve an increase with weights used will be achievable and also necessary in order to keep the workouts progressive and result producing. Following this protocol you will develop toned muscles, which in return will burn more calories. I’ve trained clients both men and women that have become very strong doing circuit training, to the point where they were lifting the same weights as they would with 3-4 minutes rest between sets. Circuit training can make you very strong and extremely fit – the side effects is very low body fat levels.
Circuits allow you to work your aerobic system while simultaneously working on your strength. They keep your heart rate up, therefore reaping the same benefits as spending a long time on a piece of cardio equipment. But circuit training will benefit you more because it mimics the effects of interval training on your heart rate. Interval training has been proven to be more beneficial than activities that keep the heart rate at a constant level for a long period of time.
Also, due to fewer rest periods in your workout and the intensity factor you will increase the amount of testosterone you release, which serves to help your muscles grow (don’t worry ladies – this makes you burn body fat and helps to keep you lean). If you were to perform long aerobic sessions, your testosterone level would drop and you would start to release cortisol (which causes the body to break down muscle tissue and puts your body in a fat storing mode), a circuit-training workout won’t take that long to complete, especially if you are training at the intensity required for the best results. Therefore, you won’t reach the time required to start this cortisol-releasing process.
For best results make sure you include some kind of circuit training in your routine. Choose exercises that work all the body and keep the reps in a range that allow you to lift enough weight to make it challenging. I prefer using 8-12 reps with at least 40 seconds time under tension for each set. Give it a go!