I am very "old school" when it comes to exercising, weight training and circuit training. In this modern age too much emphasis is places on style over substance when it comes to getting fit. People join trendy gyms, wear fashionable clothing, drink the latest sports drinks, and usually pay extortionate amounts in the hope to achieve short term goals. I prefer the old school approach, and by that I mean the simple, basic exercises that have been proven to increase strength and fitness. These are the exercises that used to be taught in School Physical Training classes, and are the core training in military schools, dance and martial arts schools today.
I believe that circuit training is one of the best ways to gain all round fitness and strength. The most intensive circuit training I have ever done has been in large indoor halls, with "stations" where different exercises are done. There are usually no or few weights involved. Generally the exercises include:
* press ups
* sit ups
* star jumps
* squat thrusts
* step ups (onto a gym bench)
* jumping onto then over gym bench with both feet together
* burpies (sort of star jump followed immediately by a squat thrust - a killer !)
* sprints up and down hall
* running backwards, side ways etc.
* dips (using gym bench to hold onto behind)
* passing a medicine ball between two people, either back to back or throwing
There are often many others that are incorporated to ensure that each class is varied, but these for the core of any circuit training class. Great for building overall strength and cardiovascular fitness and they exercise all the major muscle groups while keeping the heart rate high.
Basic compound weight training is what I consider to be the "old school" weight training. By this I mean the exercises that use several different muscle groups at once. The best compund exercises to do are:
* Bench Press
* Should Press / Military Press
* Bent Over Row
* Shoulder shrugs
* Pull ups
* Cleans and Clean and Presses
* Barbell curls
* Lateral Pull downs
If you plan take up circuit training, you do not really need any equipment. For weight training it is advisable to invest in some decent equipment, or join a proper weights gym, for that old school experience.
J.P.Wade has been studying martial arts for over 15 years and runs the Motley Health and Fitness website and community, http://www.motleyhealth.com