If you don’t have a lot of time and you are looking to get in a good workout, try circuit training. This type of workout will raise your heart rate, build lean muscle, and burn calories, all while maximizing your time.
Circuit training is basically moving through a series of exercises with little to no rest. This will keep your heart rate high ensuring extra fat burning. The actual resistance exercises in the circuit will help to build lean muscle which will speed up your metabolism and continue to burn calories even at rest. The great thing about circuit training is you can do it almost anywhere and with little weight. You can also create a circuit using only your body weight.
There are a few different ways to do your circuit. You can do a certain number of reps per exercise or do each exercise for a certain amount of time. The idea is to do the exercises a little faster than you would normally do to raise your heart rate while concentrating on muscle isolation. The other thing to think about is what exercises to do and what order to do them in.
In order to minimize fatiguing a muscle to fast, I like to do a lower body exercise, followed by an upper body exercise, followed by an ab exercise. So for example, if you are at a beginner fitness level, you could do 30 seconds of knee push-ups, then 30 seconds of body squats, and finish with 30 seconds of crunches. After doing this series, you would rest and then do it again. Depending on your fitness level, you can start doing 3 exercises in a row and then rest. You can work up to doing 12-15 exercises before resting. As your fitness level increases, you can add exercises to each circuit and add a little extra time to each exercise. For my advanced clients, I set up 15 different exercises (alternating the upper body, lower body and abs) and have them do each exercise for 45 seconds. After doing the circuit once, they rest until their heart rate goes down to normal and then they do it again. After doing this circuit 4-5 times, they are exhausted and feeling great.
I like doing the exercises in the circuit for time. It gives you the opportunity to go at your own pace that matches your fitness level. The goal is to work continuously through the time of each exercise. The more advanced your fitness level, the faster you will go. Just don’t start off so fast that you can’t go for the entire pre-set time. Find the pace that challenges you but you can complete each exercise.
Even though you are working faster than normal, form is still essential. Concentrate on doing each exercise right and controlled. Working out this way combines cardio and resistance training all in one. You will have maximum calorie burning in the least amount of time.