Jenn and I learned a ton at the IDEA Personal Training Institute we attended a few weekends ago. And a lot of it was about the benefits of Circuit Training. I've always loved Circuits because you get your cardio in with some added strength training and, unlike the treadmill or elliptical, it isn't boring. But it was interesting to find out that there are actual studies done that prove there are some amazing benefits. Yeah, "book facts" again!
The results of one study of regular High Intensity Circuit Training showed the following improvements:
* Reduced body fat by 17.5%
* 4% increase in lean body mass
* 7% decrease in diastolic blood pressure
* 9.5% decrease in Total Cholesterol
* 10% increase in HDL
* 16% decrease in LDL
So, yes, you should be doing it! If you don't know, Circuits are 6-12 exercises that target the entire body. Each exercise is done for time (usually 30-45 seconds) with very short breaks in between each exercise. At the end of each round, you take a longer break. At Goodwellness, we do 3-4 rounds depending on the difficulty of the Circuit and the individual's fitness level.
I include Circuits in all my weekly fitness programs, and we teach a Circuit class on Wednesdays at 9AM and Saturdays at 9:30AM. Sign up here.
And, bonus!, here is one you can do at home! All you need is a pair of medium weight dumbbells and a stability ball.
1. Rainbow- Hold 1 dumbbell by the ends. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, move the dumbbell over your head from one side to the other. Keep your hips facing front
2. Plank Frog- Start in high plank position. Jump your feet as close to your hands as possible. Then jump back to high plank. This is a heart pumper!
3. Crossover Lunge with Hammer Curl- Hold your dumbbells to your sides with palms facing you. Step forward, crossing over your back foot and sink into a lunge. Raise your forearms into a curl at the same time.
4. Wide Crossover Deadlift with High Pull- Take a wide stance. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand and with palm facing you, hinge forward and reach to your left foot. Keep your back flat. Then stand up tall, pulling the dumbbell close to your rib cage, turning the palm in. Finish one side and then work the other side!
5. Seated Overhead Shoulder Press- Sit on stability ball. Hold dumbbells at your shoulders, palms facing in. Push dumbbells overhead and bring back down.
6. Suitcase Squat- Start with your feet shoulder width apart, holding your dumbbells to your sides, palms facing in. Keeping your heels down, sink back into a squat. Picture that you are picking up two suitcases and rise back up to standing. Oh, if only my suitcases were that light!
Set a timer, and do each exercise for 30-45 seconds (I like the Gymboss app on my phone as a timer). Do 3-4 rounds, taking at least a 1 minute break in between rounds.
I called this workout "Hayley's Circuit" because it was designed and coached by our intern Hayley! If you have any questions about the exercises you can message me.