Incorporating resistance training into our health routine is very important, as resistance training helps us maintain and improve muscle mass, strength, and bone density as we age. Two of the biggest …
Incorporating resistance training into our health routine is very important, as resistance training helps us maintain and improve muscle mass, strength, and bone density as we age. Two of the biggest barriers to regularly performing resistance training are time and equipment availability. Circuit training is a form of resistance training that helps us combat both of these barriers, while effectively adding all of the benefits of resistance training to our day.
We often think of resistance training requiring us to head to the gym, spend two hours there, and use every piece of equipment in the building. While these are slight exaggerations, some people do train similarly to this, and they are usually training in a bodybuilding style. This works for people who have a lot of time to train each week and have access to a lot of equipment.
If we only look at resistance training that way, it can feel very inaccessible, especially if you don’t have a lot of time available, access to a lot of equipment, or enjoy going to the gym. This is where circuit training can come into play.
Circuit training is a format of resistance training where you rotate through exercises targeting different muscle groups throughout the body. In a circuit, instead of completing all of your sets of one exercise before moving on, you’d perform one set of each exercise, rest, and then start over again from the beginning.
This is one of my favorite ways to structure a resistance training workout because it allows us to work our full body in one session, saves a lot of time, and doesn’t require access to very much equipment.
In order to get the most out of your circuit-style workout, I’d recommend choosing 4-6 exercises that work different muscle groups. To minimize necessary rest, alternate exercises between different areas of the body, such as your upper body and lower body, and try not to repeat movement patterns. This will allow you to do the most work in the shortest amount of time, leaving you with a completed workout much faster than if you rested between each set of each exercise.
Remember that resistance training can be performed with external resistance or just our bodyweight. Exercises involving dumbbells, resistance bands, and body weight only are my favorite to include in circuits, as it allows you to do your workout almost anywhere. Circuits can be very effective even when simple.
If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own workouts but would like to start incorporating circuit training into your routine, stay on the lookout for my annual Move More Challenge. Starting on Monday, November 27th, I’ll be leading you through a month of workouts, walking, and other practices to jumpstart your healthy habits into the new year.
Check out my social media accounts @maggifitzpatrick for more information coming soon.
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