Looking for the Most Benefit From the Least Amount of Exercise?

High Intensity Circuit Training

Many of you have heard me extolling the virtues of high-intensity training with significant advantages over traditional aerobic training in key areas of health. I believe it is the most neglected yet most beneficial form of exercise for over 20s.

Click here to download “The Most Neglected Yet Most Beneficial Form of Exercise” PDF.

A few weeks ago yet another excellent study was published from the American College of sports medicine not only reinforcing these benefits but offering the secret high-intensity circuit program that does the trick.

High-intensity training for fat loss.

  • High-intensity circuit training can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat.
  • Research has found that these metabolic benefits can be present for up to 72 hours after a high-intensity exercise bout has been completed.
  • There also may be a greater impact on subcutaneous fat loss with high-intensity intermittent circuit-style resistance training protocols than with traditional steady state sustained-effort aerobic work or traditional resistance training.

Improving markers of health.

  • High-intensity training is an extremely effective and efficient means by which to increase an individual’s cardiopulmonary health.
  • The circuit training elicits similar and sometimes greater gains in VO2 max (the efficiency by which someone consumes oxygen at maximal exertion) despite significantly lower exercise volume.It can be an efficient approach to decreasing insulin resistance which is a major factor in developing type II diabetes.

Caution and contraindications.

Those who are overweight/obese, very unfit, previously injured, elderly with hypertension or heart disease will need clearance from their doctor before commencing the exercise at a very gentle rate. A personal trainer would be highly recommended to monitor appropriate intensity, ensure correct form to avoid injury and provide often much-needed motivational support. I would highly recommend Janine Odlin from the Gap Health and Racquet gym 07 3300 6668 and Justin Greger from Sweat Monkeys personal training 0408 242 661. I train with both of them and they are highly competent and caring.

The Program.

The following is an example of a 12-station HICT program. All exercises can be done with body weight and implements easily acquired in almost any setting (e.g., home, office, hotel room, etc.). The exercise order allows for a total body exercise to significantly increase the heart rate while the lower, upper, and core exercises function to maintain the increased heart rate while developing strength.

Exercises are performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between bouts. Total time for the entire circuit workout is approximately 7 minutes. The circuit can be repeated 2 to 3 times. Just once gently if you’re starting out or unfit. Twice, if you’re moderately fit and exercising fairly regularly. Three times if twice does not do the trick.

The full article can be viewed here: http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/05000/HIGH_INTENSITY_CIRCUIT_TRAINING_USING_BODY_WEIGHT_.5.aspx

  1. Jumping jacks (Star jumps) Total body
  2. Wall sit (With knees at 90° with thigh parallel to the ground) Lower body
  3. Push-up Upper body
  4. Abdominal crunch (Knees bent at 90°, arms pushing towards knees) Core
  5. Step-up onto chair (Alternate legs) Total body
  6. Squat Lower body (Till thighs parallel to ground)
  7. Triceps dip on chair Upper body
  8. Plank (On elbows) Core
  9. High knees/running in place (Knees and arms working) Total body
  10. Lunge Lower (Alternating forward and back lunge on each leg) body
  11. Push-up and rotation (Start with chest close to ground, then pushing up, rotating outward and reaching one hand toward the ceiling. Coming down to floor and alternating) Upper body
  12. Side plank (on elbows) Core

If you can’t fit this into your life…… you might need a new life :-)

Enjoy the benefits and give me your feedback please.

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