by Nick Mistretta
When it comes to toning up and losing weight, there are a number of strategies you can employ. You can change your diet and eat more whole foods. You can consume foods especially talented at burning fat. You can choose a good cardio program. And you can (wait for it) build some muscle with circuit training.
Muscle burns more calories than fat. Having muscle increases your resting metabolic rate, which allows you to burn more fat and calories while your body is at rest. While this is certainly true, the numbers won’t stagger you. But every little bit helps. An extra 10 pounds of muscle burns somewhere around 50-60 extra calories a day. And while this may not seem like a lot, over the course of time it will add up. Much the same way the weight gain did.
What is Circuit Training
Circuit training involves performing resistance exercises back to back with no rest in between. Let’s say you’ve got 7 exercises that you’re going to do. You’ll complete all seven in succession with no rest, followed by a 1-2 minute rest period at the end. This constitutes one circuit. After the rest period, begin again. Do three circuits or more in total.
Because you’re moving through the exercises without rest, you’re also getting a fantastic cardio workout. Circuit training is the perfect combination of weight training, cardio and endurance exercise.
There are a lot of equipment options for circuit training. You can use machines at the gym, though performing a circuit requiring several machines while others are exercising can be a challenge. You can use dumbbells or other free weights, which I prefer. There are also resistance bands, which are nice in that they are extremely portable. Or you can simply use your body weight and perform exercises like push ups, dips, squats and chin ups.
Why Circuit Training
Think of circuit training as High Intensity Interval Training with weights. Meaning you’ll work harder and burn more calories in a shorter period of time. The upside is there’s no time to get bored. The downside? Maximum intensity will be required. But this is the key to any exercise routine.
By combining a high intensity cardio workout with a high intensity resistance workout, you’ll burn more calories during your workout and also during the hours following it. There is an afterburn effect that happens after intense exercise in which you continue burning calories for hours after your workout. But remember, the key is your level of intensity.
Circuit training works your heart by improving cardio endurance. So you will receive the same benefits as you do from any goood cardio program. Your strength and muscular endurance will also improve. And as I mentioned earlier, this will promote a little more fat burning even while you’re at rest.
Minimum time required. Perhaps this is the greatest benefit of all. You can easily complete a challenging circuit training session in 20-30 minutes. If you do two of these whole body workouts per week, your investment is under an hour.
Read the rest here: http://naturalhealthpub.com/lose-more-fat-with-circuit-training-2013-04-13/