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Try Circuit Training to Maximize your Metabolism

July 23, 2014
by Staci Amend

If you’re new to regular exercise, you may not be aware of this important fact: your body can actually “acclimate” to exercise! That means if you’re doing the exact same amount of the exact same exercises every day, your regimen is likely to have less and less effect over time. Doing something different every day, even if it’s a single activity like walking or cycling, can also help you stay motivated while ensuring that you are addressing a greater variety of muscle groups. That’s why it’s a great idea to include circuit training into your Jenny Craig program.

What is circuit training?
Circuit training is a full-body workout that includes short stops at 6–10 workout “stations” over the course of the workout. Each station works a different muscle group, so you can move between stations quickly, with just a short pause between. For people following a weight loss program, a circuit that blends strength training and aerobic exercise is ideal. With a strength/aerobic circuit, you’ll alternate sets of resistance exercise (weights, bands, kettlebells or body weight moves like push-ups) with quick bursts of cardiovascular exercise (such as jogging in place, rowing or spinning). This will help you burn calories and fat while slowly building lean muscle…which can eventually help you burn even MORE fat!

Why is circuit training so great?
Circuit training automatically eliminates two of the most common excuses for NOT working out: getting bored and not having enough time. The exercises can be mixed and recombined in any order, giving you a virtually limitless supply of workouts. And circuit training is also incredibly efficient—a 150-pound person burns an average of 400 calories per hour, and up to 500 calories working at a higher intensity. And if you do happen to belong to a gym, the in-house training staff can be a great resource.

How can I get started?
Begin by setting a time limit for your workout; if you’re a beginner, keep your workout around 30 minutes. If you have seven stations with two-minute intervals, you’ll have a 14-minute circuit you can do twice, with short rests along the way. Next, choose seven simple exercises, alternating between cardio and resistance. If you just want to get a taste of circuit training before you invest in weights or other equipment, use all body weight moves. Example: push-ups, running in place, plank, jumping jacks, lunges, using the stairs and squats. Start there, and if you enjoy it, simply add more moves to your routine to increase the length of your workout!

Related Content:

Add a Boost with Interval Training
6 Ways to Sneak Cardio into Your Day
Quick Activity Bouts: Exercise in a Hurry

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