My darling, smart, gorgeous workout buddy-moved-somewhere-over-the-rainbow friend Becky asked for a more detailed overview of my weight circuit program. (At least I think this is what she was asking for – if not, all aboard the boredom train!)
Circuit training first came about in the swingin’ 50’s so you know it’s got to be good. Picture an art-deco spaceship model sailing across a faux “star-studded” backdrop. Spock might be involved even (yes, I know he’s from the 60’s but it’s all before my time and I can’t control your imagination anyhow). So yeah, it’s that good:)
Basically, it incorporates strength training and cardio together in one big fluffernutter of a workout. There are many different ways to set up a circuit but the basic idea is to either take out the rest between weight sets (and alternate body parts so you don’t wear out a particular muscle group) or to do some form of quick, intense cardio between sets (like jumping rope or dancing or running in place). This approach has tons of benefits, primarily being that it saves on time. For a great overview of circuits and a few examples (that I didn’t invent), check out this article.
Just like all the other “My”s out there (My Little Pony, My Barbie, MySpace) this is infinitely customizable. In fact, I try to never make mine the same twice. Since I’m still running my cardio-after-weights study (almost done! Results coming soon, hee!) I chose to just take out the rest periods between weight sets, moving as quickly as I can from one exercise to the next and then starting the whole circuit over again. I repeat the whole circuit 3-5 times, each time taking about 10 minutes. I try to keep my heartrate above 130 the whole time. Although if you intersperse jumping rope or some cardio activity you can really get it pumping.
So here’s the skeleton with ideas for exercises in parentheses:
Chest – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (decline push-ups, chest press, flat flyes, dumbbell press)
Legs – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (weighted lunges, extensions, curls, smith-machine squats, weighted squats, sumo squats, hindu squats, sissy squats, leg press, curtsy lunges, ATG squats(I knew there was one more squat! How many times can I say squat? It’s a fun word. Squat, squat, squat. Hee))
Back – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (seated rows, one-arm rows, deadlifts, weighted back extensions, lat pulldowns, reverse flyes)
Shoulders – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (military press, Arnold press, upright rows, lateral raises, forward raises, behind-the-neck raises)
Triceps – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (pushdowns, overhead extensions, tricep extensions, bench dips, machine dips, skull crushers)
Biceps – 2 different exercises, 10 reps each (EZ curls, dumbell curls, hammer curls, preacher curls, concentration curls, cheese curls (just checking to see if you’re paying attention!) and half repeaters)
Calves – 2 sets, 20 reps each (weighted calf raises, donkey calf raises, ballet second position calf raises)
Okay, confession: I am so utterly bored with all my chest and bicep exercises that I could cry. PLEASE help me out and tell me your fave (that’s not already on my list). If you find one for me I’ll give you a million bucks. In Monopoly money. Well, that and my eternal gratitude. Plus my workout buddies will thank you for stopping my incessant whining I caaaannnn’t do any more cuuuuurrrrrlllls.
I love you already:)
PS> I hope you keep reading Becky and comment more often – you with your years of fitness experience, share the wealth already!!! Gosh!