Circuit training is a great combination of high intensity workout in combination with resistance training. What does it exactly mean: There are 4-10 exercises ( mostly resistance training) that make a circuit or a single set. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions before moving on to the next exercise. The exercises within each circuit or set are separated by a short rest period, and each circuit or set is separated by a longer rest period. Circuit training is highly effective in increasing strength, stamina and flexibility. Each exercise has to be done in a steady pace and maintaining the right posture while performing them.
Circuit training in not a fixed type of exercise pattern but can be changed according to the fitness level of the individual. The exercises in a circuit can be total body, upper body, lower body, abs, combination of these body parts, biceps and legs etc . It can be designed to your body requirement hitting specific muscles if required.
Benefits of Circuit Training:
Weight Loss: Circuit training is a high intensity workout which will make the body burn a lot of fat as different muscles are being engaged in high repetitions with little intervals for recovery..If one is looking for a weight loss and wanting to get active and powerful then circuit training can be beneficial.
Body Building: If one is looking to build muscles then circuit training could help get lean and muscular including weight exercises to build bigger muscles. Circuit training helps maximize muscle size and while reducing the body fat to the minimum.
Develop strength and Endurance: It is a great way to develop strength and endurance as it can be made higher intensity circuits which make the muscles work more and build strength.
Equipments: With circuit training you have the flexibility to choose exercises from body weight, dumbbells, machines, elastic bands, Swiss balls, barbells, heavy weights, aerobics etc in a circuit . You could combine machines and weights or any other combination according to objective and convenience.
No Age Factor: It is high intensity but the intensity necessarily doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. It can be made according to physical ability. So old people can follow a circuit suitable to their body types. Women can choose a circuit which will tone up the body.
Feel Good: Circuit training finds a lot of popularity amongst people because of its options of plenty. Some people find gyms or other kind of aerobic exercises boring and mundane, while circuit training helps break that monotony and adds adrenaline pumping routine to the regular exercises that are done in isolation. Besides giving you double the results in half the time of any other exercise training fro weight loss.
So, here’s the second part of the series, where we compare exercising on machines, or out in the open. In Treadmills vs Outside Running Part 1, we considered 3 points between treadmills and running outside. At the end of the 3 points, treadmills were winning 2:1 against running outside. Let’s continue to find out, which is better?
4. Speed Change-Sprints/Intervals: Sprints and Interval Training are the fastest way to burn fat, but intervals on the treadmills can be painful, since you have to keep pressing those buttons at the end of every interval, to change your speed. Its kind of annoying than just using your legs to slow down, where you would actually use more muscle in running on the ground, to increase or decrease your speed. In fact using your legs to increase or decrease your speed actually helps to work more muscle. Its even more annoying to simulate sprints on a treadmill. So, this one goes to running outside. We’re even, at 2:2
5. Environment/Access to Space: This one is a toss up. If you live in a nice clean area, with lots of parking or running space, its great to run outside. But treadmills are great if you live in a polluted location, a dirty area, unfriendly weather like rain, snow or heat; or just don’t have running space!
6. Impact on joints: Depending on what kind of ground you run on, the impact varies. Running on a soft surface reduces impact on your joints, whereas pounding your joints on the concrete sidewalks increases that impact. Most gym treadmills have impact factors that are somewhere in the middle- not as reduced as soft surfaces, and not as hard as concrete. So, this factor is also a draw between machines and the real thing. (A great zero impact cardiovascular exercise is swimming)
Similar factors would affect whether you want to use the cycling machines in the gym, or cycle outside, or deciding between a stair climber machine or actually running on stairs, or between a rowing machine and rowing in a lake. Because of equipment expense and access to water bodies, actually rowing is a tough one, but its a fantastic workout.
We’re partial to running outside, since we like to feel our shoes on the ground. But neither won this battle. It really comes down to what the situation is.
But the answer to the ultimate cardio question – Is is better to run on a treadmill or to run outside, on the ground? , is ultimate one -It depends