The best exercise routine for a time crunch

Do you feel pressured for time when you are at the gym?  Do you want to get a good workout, but feel your schedule is too busy to fit one in?  If so, circuit training may be right for you.

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is moving from one resistance exercise to another resistance exercise that targets a different muscle group.  Since you are using different muscle groups in each consecutive exercise, no rest period is required.  Taking out the rest period not only creates a shorter exercise time period, but it also keeps your heart rate up so you burn more calories during the session as well.  If you want to burn even more calories, you can incorporate short bursts of cardiovascular activity in between resistance exercises.

circuit training

How do you Create a Circuit Training Routine?

Circuit training is appropriate for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced exercisers.

All circuit training workouts should begin with a 5 to 10 minute warm up of cardiovascular activity.

Beginners should complete 1 to 2 sets of the circuit, and can take 30 to 60 seconds rest in between exercises.

An advanced exercise should complete 3 to 4 sets of the circuit without any rest breaks in between exercises.

For the resistance exercises, 10 to 15 repetitions should be completed.  For cardiovascular activities (if including), 30 seconds to 1 minute of activity should be completed.

Most gyms have circuit training stations set up, but if your gym does not or you are working out at home, follow the example routine below, adding cardio bursts as needed.

Cardiovascular activities can include:

  • jumping rope
  • jogging in place
  • stationary bike
  • walking on a treadmill

Remember to check your heart rate every 10 minutes to make sure you are working out at a safe and effective level.

Full Body Circuit Routine

Warm up for 5-10 minutes with cardiovascular exercise of your choice

Dumbbell rows 10-15 repetitions
Squats 10-15 repetitions
Abdominal Crunches 10-15 repetitions
Shoulder Press 10-15 repetitions
Reverse Lunges 10-15 repetitions
Bicep Curls 10-15 repetitions
Lumbar Extensions 10-15 repetitions
Triceps Extensions 10-15 repetitions
Calf Raises 10-15 repetitions
Push-ups 10-15 repetitions

Repeat circuit 1-4 times.

Cool down with light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes then complete a full body stretching routine.

 

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