Full Body Circuit Training - Fat Loss. Lean Muscle Gain, and Cardio All-In-One!
Posted May 10 2010 8:47pm
A full body circuit training workout routine can offer all the best aspects of exercising in one complete package. Done effectively, circuit training can result in fat loss, lean muscle gain, and a cardiovascular workout, all done within a short amount of time.
Circuit training is a great way to accelerate fat loss. You burn more fat with this type of routine because you are rapidly and intensely pushing weights around and moving exercise to exercise, which results in increased HGH levels and glycogen depletion. HGH (human growth hormone) is a hormone that burns fat and preserves muscle mass. Additionally, by increasing the intensity of your routine, you reduce glycogen levels and prime your body to burn more fat after the completion of your workout.
Increase Muscle Mass
As long as you lift equal or greater weights week after week, a circuit training routine is effective at maintaining or increasing muscle mass. This is the basis of progressive overload. You give your muscles no choice but to maintain their size or get bigger by ensuring they can progressively lift more weight.
Because of the intensity involved in a circuit training routine, your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-20 minute workout. This provides a nice cardiovascular benefit that can help keep your heart healthy.
How Many Exercises
Circuit training can encompass any number of exercises. You could have a simple 4 exercise circuit that you perform for multiple sets. My preference is for a wide variety of exercises that I just do once. Either way, a good number of exercises should focus on compound movements using free weights. I incorporate some isolation exercises to allow my larger muscles more time to recover.
My Circuit Training Workout Routine
What does my specific circuit training workout routine include? I do 10 reps of 20 different exercises using both a barbell and dumbbells. Some of these exercises include bench press, clean and press, squats, flies, shoulder raises, and curls. After these exercises, I work my abs by performing renegade rows and planks to allow time for my arms and legs to recover. I conclude with some body weight exercises such as dips, pull-ups, pushups, and inverted rows. If you have time, you could top this workout off with 10-20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training).
The weightlifting portion of my routine takes 15 minutes, abs take 3 minutes, and body weight exercises take 2 minutes. All in all, that's a 20 minute full body circuit training workout routine that will help you blast fat, increase muscle mass, and improve your cardiovascular health.