10 Best Circuit Training Workout For Weight Loss
Updated on: June 2023
Best Circuit Training Workout For Weight Loss in 2023
Circuit Burnout 90: 90 Day DVD Workout Program with 10+1 Exercise Videos + Training Calendar, Fitness Tracker &Training Guide and Nutrition Plan
XTFMAX: 90 Day DVD Workout Program with 12 Exercise Videos + Training Calendar & Fitness Guide and Nutrition Plan
- Shed fat, build lean muscle and tone your body in about 35 minutes a day with XTFMAX
- A 90 day program that includes 12 workouts on 12 DVDs, Nutrition Plan, Training Guide and Training Calendar
- XTFMAX sculpts muscles, builds strength and flexibility with fat-burning workouts designed to deliver results
- Each workout features modifications and levels from 1 (beginners) to 4 (advanced) so everybody can be challenged and successful while getting in the best shape of their lives
- Stephanie Oram will get you sweaty, keep you motivated, and deliver results while having fun doing so
INTERVALO: 30 Day Workout Program with 5 Exercise Videos Training Calendar, Training Guide and Nutrition Plan
- Intervalo helps you lose weight and build long lean muscle with 5 challenging HIIT workouts on 5 DVDs
- Join Zoe Moralli Kleydman for your 30-day transformation. You will burn fat, tone muscle and get in the best shape of your life with Intervalo
- Each of the 5 challenging, but easy-to-follow workouts demonstrate multiple levels for different abilities. The workouts keep the body guessing and increase metabolism to maximize results
- Also includes a complete Training Guide, Nutrition Plan and Training Calendar
- Workouts are filmed in English AND Spanish, not dubbed or sub-titled, but individually recorded in both languages
Morning Fat Melter Workout DVD for Women â€“ Lose At Least 3 Pounds/Week With Our Weight Loss Program - 11 Workout Videos + 30 Days Meal Plan - 5 Printed Manuals & 1 Exercise DVDs
- BEST WORKOUT DVD FOR WOMEN - Burn fat, double your energy level and feel 10 years younger with our 18 minutes workouts. Our workouts combine high-intensity circuits with active rest to achieve a strong and attractive body.
- GREAT RESULTS WITH OUR PROGRAM - You will lose up to 30 pounds, you'll get fit and well toned, more attractive, incredibly defined and everyone will admire you.
- OVER 100.000 HAPPY CLIENTS SO FAR - We have recently launched our Morning Fat Melter workout DVDs for women on amazon, however our workout videos have been downloaded by over 100.000 women worldwide and we have hundreds of success stories to share, so get our exercise DVDs today.
- 11 WORKOUT VIDEOS ON 1 WORKOUT DVD + 5 PRINTED MANUALS - You get 11 easy to follow eighteen minutes workout videos, a 30 days detailed meal plan,, the quick start-up guide, the workout calendar & daily checklist + OUR BONUS: Our Delicious Fat Loss Desserts Cookbook.It's simply one of the best workout DVD offer on Amazon!
- 100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION - We know that you will love our program and that you can lose 30 pounds by following it, that we offer 120 days money back guarantee, so try it risk free!
STOTT PILATES Weight Loss Circuit Training with Props, Level 2
- Workout Level-Intermediate (Level 4 of 5)
- Language Track-English
- Equipment Required-Mat, Mini-Stability Ball, Strength Tubing: Knee (Large Cuff) and Stop watch
- Number of Exercises-22 Exercises
- Workout Time-52 minutes DVD Length-91 minutes
STOTT PILATES Weight Loss Circuit Training with Props, Level 1
- Region Code 0: Can be played anywhere in the world
- Workout Level: Intermediate (Level 3 of 5)
- Number of Exercises: 8 Exercises, Workout Time = 43 Minutes, Dvd Length = 82 Minutes
- Equipment Required: Strength Tubing and Oval Foam Cushion
- With a few simple props, this circuit training will help you burn calories, reach your goals and feel great
Beachbody Insanity Fast and Furious DVD Workout
- Fast and Furious is one of the latest INSANITY workouts from Shaun T
- Get maximum results in just 20 minutes with INSANITY Fast and Furious
- Consists of effective max interval training
- Short on time? Fast and Furious is a must have workout to add to your INSANITY routine and is also perfect on its own
GHB Pro Agility Ladder Agility Training Ladder Speed 12 Rung 20ft with Carrying Bag
- 【12 Rungs & 20 Feet】The agility ladder comes with 12 durable plastic rungs, and the overall length is 20 feet.
- 【Adjustable Rung Design】Each rung is 16.5" long, and the space between rungs is adjustable up to 15" inch. You can simple adjust it in the nylon straps so as to meet your workout demands.
- 【Carrying Bag】The agility ladder comes with a carrying bag, which is very convenient for you to train anytime anywhere.
- 【Ideal Tool for Outdoor Sports】The agility ladder is very helpful for footbald, soccer, basketball drills, hockey, tennis, etc as it can increase your speed, leg strength and improve your balance ability.
- 【Improve Performance & Skills】This speed training ladder is great tool for you to improve quickness through accelerated foot strike and lift frequency. It also can help losing weight as it can TORCH CALORIES bigtime.
STRONG by Zumba High Intensity Cardio & Tone 60 min Workout DVD Featuring Michelle Lewin
- It's not a dance class - it's revolutionary workout where every move is synced to a beat
- 60 min high-intensity workout with a bonus 20 min workout
- Burn more calories when you workout out to perfectly synced music
- Proven to burn almost 2x the calories post-class
- Try it at-home now and find a class in gyms everywhere
Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride Trainer for Squat Exercise and Glutes Workout
- The NO. 077 Trainer includes access to an online training video within the package. THE TRAINING VIDEO IS ONLINE ONLY AND WILL NOT INCLUDE A DVD IN THE PACKAGE
- DIGITAL MONITOR: Use the digital monitor to follow your workout progress with the ability to track time, calories, count, and scan.
- ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE: The three resistance bands can be added or removed to adjust the resistance of your workout to your fitness level. Each band is approximately 22 lb of resistance.
- ADJUSTABLE SQUAT DEPTH: Adjust the saddle angle to 30, 60, or 90 degrees to add depth to your squat and variety to your workout program.
- VERSATILE HANDLEBARS: Take advantage of multiple hand positions to work muscles in your back and chest. Adjust the machine to your body length with the handle and saddle distance control, to ensure proper form with every squat.
- Material Type: Aluminum
Muscle Toning Guidelines
This is a simple, complete guide to weight training. It contains all the information that you need to start and progress on your own. Three types of weight training are discussed; muscle toning, strength, and circuit training.
This weight training program guideline focuses on beginners to intermediate weight training programming. It presents material that is common among the exercise needs and desires of many ladies, has appropriateness for the elderly, and is great for athletes as well. This booklet is broken down into 3 areas of emphasis: a firming or "toning" program, a strength training program, and a circuit training program. The Firming Program is considered a rather high repetition program, which implies the weight is light compared to a low repetition program. In this comparison, it is well suited for beginners or people interested in firming or "toning" their muscles. This booklet is not meant to be a complete guide to weight training, but I have attempted to explain some of the more prevalent issues that are typically misconstrued by the public and popular fitness magazines. I did not go into great detail here though, as the intent of the booklet is to be a guide first and a brief educational tool second. If you have no medical issues relating to your exercise, such as high blood pressure, muscle injury, or heart disease, then most people can get started without medical complications. If you have any of these conditions, please check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program to determine the appropriateness of the program. Remember, start slow.
Before we begin, I will define some common weight training terms. A set is the number of actual work sessions per exercise. A repetition or (rep) refers to the number of times you lift the weight during each set. For example, you can lift a weight 14 times until fatigue, rest, lift the weight again for 15 times, rest, and then do the same exercise again. You have just completed 3 sets of 14 to 15 reps.
Most people know that a warm up prior to your work out session is beneficial. A warm-up before AEROBIC exercise is always recommended for everyone. In most cases, when applicable, warm-up exercises should mimic the actual exercise or movements you plan to perform during that exercise session. For ANAEROBIC exercise or strength/resistance training, a proper warm up is also recommended. Just like aerobic exercise, warming up for resistance training workouts should also mimic the actual exercise or exercises you are about to perform. You should do a 5 to 10 minute aerobic warm-up just to get the body's core temperature up. More specifically, you must warm-up your muscles by starting your weight training exercise with a light weight at first. This will ensure that you do not have any unknown joint problems. Performing the weight training exercise with a truly light weight at first will be safer than starting with a heavier weight. A heavier weight would put more strain on the all the soft tissues, including muscle, that are involved in that particular movement. A warm-up set should use a weight that you can lift about 25 times. However, you should limit your warm-up set to about 12 to 15 repetitions. One set should be sufficient. If you have already used a particular muscle during the course of your workout session in a previous exercise, it may not be necessary to do a warm-up set, even though you are attempting a different exercise or "machine" that works that same muscle or group of muscles.
I like to suggest that people start with exercises that focus on normal movements that we all do everyday. Three good exercises to start with are a chest press or push up, a bent over lat row or lat pull down, and squatting using your own body weight. In addition, it may be important to also include an abdominal and lower back exercise as these areas are typically very weak and prone to injury. This is a full body workout with just 3 to 5 exercises! Note: The lower back is usually an area that many people try to protect. After all, back pain is no fun and back injuries can be quite serious. However, many people will perform work tasks incorrectly which may place a severe load on the back musculature. Furthermore, by trying to "protect" the back, some people may avoid working the muscles of the back at all, which increases weakness and chances for injury. Considering this potential exercise history, it may be advisable to wait to perform pure back work until the NEW exercises you are performing are evaluated. Additional details regarding the evaluation period are given in the "muscular soreness" section of this booklet. I also tell most people who are just starting a resistance training program to only perform a few movements or only use machines which incorporate working all of the major muscle groups in the body. This is provided that your health status (i.e. orthopedic considerations) is clear to do so. This regimen is preferred over just doing a little "bit" on many different pieces of equipment, where the size and financial status of your facility may dictate the number of exercise they have to offer, thus enticing you to try. One can see that this criterion is not appropriate. By only doing a few exercises that work the entire body, you can have an easier time identifying an exercise that you need to modify or avoid due to conditions such as excessive soreness or muscle strain.
Many people are fearful of being sore as past experience with exercising with weights has perhaps proven to be painful. It is common for some people to do too much at first. I certainly do not want anyone to over-work themselves and create undue soreness. However, it is very important to note that controlled soreness is expected and necessary for muscular improvement. You should remember that muscles tear microscopically if enough stress is applied to them. These tears are what are necessary for the muscle to rebuild itself stronger and bigger (again, microscopically). These tears, along with lactic acid and other mechanisms, produce soreness. Some degree of soreness is usually necessary for developing muscular size, strength, or both. Again, start slow and don't over do it. Stretching your muscles, preferably after your warm up set may help to control and alleviate soreness. In most cases that I have dealt with, people usually experience only mild to moderate levels of soreness with this amount of initial work. This soreness is only temporary. Muscular soreness is quite different than muscular fatigue. It is very possible to totally fatigue your muscles without getting sore later. In other words, fatigue occurs acutely, and soreness develops over time after the exercise is completed. Soreness can occur the night of the exercise, the day after, and sometimes may even be worse on the 2nd day. However, usual soreness (mild to moderate levels) associated with weight training typically subsides rather quickly after one day, in time for your next workout. With mild soreness, you will be able to do all your activities of daily living without having to slow your movements. You will be "aware" that you have worked out. Moderate soreness usually allows you to do all of your normal activities of daily living, only a little slower. Also, you may not want to move a body segment in its full range of motion (ROM). Severe soreness is an inability to move your body in its full ROM without having a lot of pain.
The first workout usually produces the most soreness. However, soreness levels usually dissipate upon subsequent workouts. You may be free of soreness after just a few workouts or up to a few weeks worth of workouts. Actually, soreness is usually worse at the beginning stages of an exercise program than at any other time in the future, even with considerable increases with volume, load, and overall work. Soreness levels are a powerful way to evaluate if you are doing too much or perhaps, not enough. Most people will respond to the work loads described in the Firming Program as mild to moderate levels of soreness at the start of their exercise program. If you are severely sore, reduce the weight, volume of exercises, or both. You may also need to rest a day or two longer before your next workout. If you do not feel sore at all, perhaps you may need to increase your workload by increasing the weight, volume, or both. Remember, when you increase the work, do so in small increments to avoid undue soreness. Again, soreness is only a transient phenomenon. Don't be deterred in starting a weight training program thinking that the common saying of "no pain, no gain" is true.
Free weights or machine weights:
Most weight machines have built-in safety stops and features so you can use them safely without a spotter. In addition, most of these machines have controlled movement patterns. That is, the weight and handle (movement arm) can only travel in one plane of movement. So if your facility has a choice, it is advisable to start with machine strength equipment rather than free weights. However, movements that mimic normal activities of daily living are best prepared for using free weights. Conservative use of controlled movements with free weights may be a perfectly suited program design for most all beginners. Free weights do not build your muscles up faster or bigger than machine weights. Do not be intimidated by free weights, regardless of your gender, as free weights can always accommodate any person regardless of size and body proportions. This may not always be the case with machine weights.
The order of the exercises may not be critical at the beginning of your weight training program. While adding exercises, it is usually best to perform exercises that use the larger muscles first. Perform movements that use many muscles at one time before you start exercises that concentrate on specific areas, such as only your biceps. Also, while in the process of adding exercises, changing the order may be advantageous.
Aerobic or weights first:
Even though these forms of exercise have distinct physiological adaptations and we have different energy delivery methods for them both, there are considerations to ponder. If you are sedentary, have a great need for increased cardiovascular health, and weight loss, you may need to just do what you can. In many of these cases, if not most, aerobic exercise without weight training may be a good choice to start out with. It can be as simple as going for short frequent walks or short bike rides. If you are healthy and fit enough to do both, it is usually desirable to perform your weight training first. In general terms, pick the type of exercise you need to improve upon the most and do it first.
Do not hold your breath, and breathe out upon the start of the exercise to the end of the range of motion. Breathe in while returning the weight to the start. This breathing pattern is a way to control rising your blood pressure during resistance training. Not holding your breath helps to prevent undue blood pressure abnormalities that could lead to acute problems, such as a stroke. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can help to significantly reduce blood pressure over time. However, repeated breath holding, called the valsalva maneuver, can actually raise blood pressure and thus create a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy or LVH. LVH is a condition sometimes seen in "heavy" weight trainers which is similar to cardiac changes that are seen in people with chronic high blood pressure. Therefore, holding your breath is never recommended for anyone engaged in resistance training. Note: Athletes that are required to have a very high level of strength will sometimes need to hold their breath for a short period of time during the lift. This technique helps to stabilize the torso in order to protect the lower back from injury during heavy loads. It is notable to recognize that the athletes normally involved in this are typically healthy and may be on the younger side of the population.
Normally lift with the full range of motion (ROM) and move from the start to the very end of the movement in a controlled manner. Full ROM is defined as the ability for a joint to move in its fullest range possible. In most exercises, your elbows can be "locked straight," but your knees should remain slightly bent to maintain stability and prevent injury. Keeping your torso fairly rigid by a slight contraction of your abdominal and lower back muscles is a good idea to protect your back from injury. A good pace may be a 2 second lift and 4 second return to the beginning of the movement. Full ROM should be used unless orthopedic injury dictates that you cannot or are advised not to from a health professional.
If you are a beginner or have been off for 2-3 weeks or longer, you do not want to do too much. Many people are afraid to put even a little stress on their muscles because they are just not familiar with this type of exercise. A preferred method to prevent undue soreness is to control the overall volume of work. When first starting out, only perform one set after your warm-up set which will allow you to see how you respond to this "new" work. Gradually add up to 3 sets plus your warm-up set over the course of 2 to 3 weeks. Practice on form during this time. Just like shooting baskets, the neurological adaptations in response to weight training is the primary factor for the increase in strength development at the beginning stages of a resistance training program, as well as strength development for pre-pubescent children.
Start your program with just a few movements as stated earlier. A good full body workout might be a chest press, lat pull down, and body weight squats. You can also add abdominal and lower back work. This volume and force control is a good way to control for over-exertion. After a normal rest period of a minute or so, increase the weight so that you are able to lift it at least 12 times but no more than 15 repetitions. That is, select a weight that you lift until you almost fail or do fail within 12 to 15 reps, working close to or as hard as you can, again, providing that you have no related medical concerns. You don't want to over do it, however in my experience, this regimen has been a well tolerated work load or amount of work for most beginning exercisers, regardless of your age.
After time you can (and should) push yourself harder. In order to get stronger, you must submit your muscles to increasing work loads. This is called the over-load principle. Increasing work loads does not always have to be increasing the weight. It can be increasing the amount of exercises, or decreasing the rest time in between exercises and/or sets. After the initial stage (2 to 3 weeks in most cases), you can start to add exercises. By this time, you should be able to tolerate 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps with the exercises stated above. Now you can gradually add from 1 to 3 exercises from each group in the weight training exercise chart so that you gradually build up your tolerance to performing up to 8 to 12 exercises total or more if you are advanced. Upon completing about 3 to 4 months of regular resistance training, you should be able to tolerate a significant increase in the amount of work you can perform. Note: After this period of time of regular resistance training (2 to 3 months), you can seek to gain more strength by decreasing your rep range to 8 to 12 reps. When you do so, you will need to increase the weight used so that you are close to failure or at failure within this rep range (8 - 12). During this time, you may feel that you do not have the stamina to perform all the exercises you need to do in order to get a "good" workout in one exercise session. It is advisable in this case to workout more often than just 2 to 3 days per week. You do this by only training 2 to 3 muscle groups per session, and then repeat after those muscles have had at least 48 hours rest in between weight training sessions. Therefore, you will have more energy to work these fewer muscles at a higher level, rather than trying to get a full-body high quality work out "in" in just one session. In addition, you should be able to perform more work (i.e. more exercises, or sets) with the specific muscles trained that day. Typical progressions are increases in work-out frequency from 2-3 times per week up to 4-6 times per week.
You should rest for an average of 1 minute in between sets and exercises in order to be able to perform a decent amount of work for the next set. If you feel you don't need to rest in between sets, then perhaps you are not using enough weight. Note: If your program design dictates that you should do 12 reps, and you are able to do so with each of your sets, you may need an adjustment. An ideal work load to provide superior results and progress (remember this is a firming program), is to work close to or as hard as you can. This is providing you do not need to hold your breath and can lift each rep in the full ROM. This inevitably translates into sets that differ slightly in the reps performed. If you are just endeavoring to meet your rep goal, you are probably stopping because of a pre-determined number, instead of fatigue or ability. At first, it is beneficial to stay at each exercise until you are done. You may let someone work with the equipment while you are resting in between sets or exercises. Lift 2 to 3 days per week. Each muscle needs 48 hours of rest in between resistance training, therefore, a MWF program or a Tues/Thurs. program frequency works well.
To maximize strength gains, use fewer reps, such as 3 to 8 and take longer rest periods in between sets. Power lifters may use this type of repetition range and still do around 1 to 3 exercises per muscle group. Body builders typically use 8 to 12 repetitions but perform 4 to 6 different exercises per muscle group while doing 4 to 6 sets of each exercise. Obviously, body builders are mainly concerned about muscle size. Body builders ultimately perform a lot more sets, exercises, and overall repetitions than power lifters and "toners". Muscle size and strength increases are inevitable with any type of resistance training. However, muscle size increases occur at a microscopic pace. Ladies, don't hold back. Many ladies irrationally fear "bulking up". I am very aware that most all women would only like to firm or "tone" their muscles. Bulking up is usually up to the guys and requires a lot of work for men, and even more work for women. If you are short and stocky, you will have a propensity to look larger compared to a person with longer limbs.
We need to protect and strengthen the spine and the muscles of the lower back. Beginners and more advanced fitness level individuals should start their program off with strengthening the abdominal and lower back muscles. This is done for both injury prevention and athletic performance reasons. The lower back should be treated with even more conservatism than other exercises. Start slow, such as performing a set of 10 to 15 reps. Once you know how you respond to this (in terms of soreness), then you can increase the work from 1 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps, 2 to 3 days per week. The abdominal muscles are a little different, not in structure, but in the manner in which we use these muscles. Therefore, daily abdominal exercises can be appropriate. We are usually required to use our abs for much longer work periods, such as 50+ reps at a time, as we become better conditioned. Perhaps start with 3 sets of 10. Build up your tolerance to performing about 75 to 100 reps of any combination of abdominal work. just by performing activities of daily living (ADL's). Note: Many people tend to work muscle groups "harder" where there is an increase in body fat. However, it is important to remember that body fat distribution is genetically determined. Therefore, exercise choices should NOT be determined by where body fat is stored. Unfortunately, we have little control over where we gain body fat, and thus little control over where we lose it!
Another popular training option is called circuit training. Circuit training is a form of weight training that increases the number of calories you burn per time over traditional weight training. It is a way to perform aerobic exercise through resistance training. Many types of circuit training programs exist, and it is not the intention of this booklet to compare program effectiveness. However, in general, circuit training is at a faster pace than traditional weight training, and this increased pace may be harder on your ligaments and tendons. An increased pace also increases your rate of breathing and therefore your heart rate as well. Note: An elevated heart rate alone is NOT a criterion to suggest that you have been put through an AEROBIC workout, contrary to popular belief. Heart rate is only a valid indicator of physiologic stress with steady state exercise. That is, exercise that uses large muscles, is rhythmic in nature, and can be continued for an extended period of time without stopping or resting. Weight training is not considered aerobic even though there is an increase in heart rate. Circuit training has a smaller aerobic component than traditional aerobic exercise, but it does burn more calories than traditional weight training, where there are lots of necessary rest periods. Circuit training will usually raise your heart rate to levels close to or at what would occur with more pure aerobic exercise heart rates. So what do we mean by an aerobic component? It has to do with our muscles need and demand for oxygen or O2. Traditional weight training programs as well as circuit training programs do not create as great a need for O2. This is why circuit training does not burn as many calories as traditional aerobic programs. However, circuit training is indeed demanding. The increased pace may place more stress on your body. Traditional weight training for about 2 to 3 months prior to circuit training helps to prepare you for the stress of various circuits and thus help prevent injury later on. Furthermore, with circuit training, it is necessary to be able to keep moving (no or very little rest periods in between exercises), so you have to be very familiar with the equipment, and be able to set it up in a hurry. Traditional weight training helps to prepare you for this.
This type of training is good for people who are short on time but want to get the most calories (energy) expended as possible, while still firming or "toning" their entire body. Drawbacks with circuit training include the fact that it does not build muscular size or strength nearly as effective as traditional weight training programs, as described above. In addition, as stated earlier, it does not burn as many calories as traditional aerobic exercise. However, circuit training can be a superior mode of training for athletes, especially for mid-season training. After all, you can't usually endure traditional weight training and still perform at peak performance during competition. This type of training is also popular with many women, because it de-emphasizes muscular size development as compared to traditional weight training programs. Remember, weight training and aerobic exercise combined are the best way to exercise your right to good health. Women usually have a greater need then men to perform resistance training for a variety of reasons. This may include experiencing a greater degree of fat loss in women than in men with resistance training, a greater need to increase strength, and combat osteoporosis.
The idea with circuit training is that you perform as many repetitions as you can in 20 to 40 seconds, as tolerated. The pace should approximate 1 to 1.5 seconds per repetition. You can also simply aim for 20 to 30 reps. You should then "rest" for about 15 seconds. Do not totally rest, however. Just slow your pace down to low to moderate intensity. This "rest" period usually called "active recovery" is designed to allow lactic acid to be converted to carbs and/or removed by the body. Lactic acid is one of the reasons for muscle fatigue. You need to keep moving during your "resting" time, as blood flow is needed to remove lactic acid. Short aerobic bouts such as jogging in place, treadmill, bike, or other activities are good ideas. The books suggest 60% VO2 is best or about 70% of your maximum heart rate, determined by 220 - age. The "rest" period also allows your blood pressure to decrease and your bodies O2 percentage to increase. After you "rest" move as quickly as possible to another exercise. Try and select the next exercise as one that uses different muscles, allowing the muscles you just worked in your prior set a rest period. Hopefully, you can last for at least 20 minutes, the minimum amount of aerobic exercise recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). If not, adjust your weights, change the order of your exercises, use less time each set, or take longer rest (recovery) periods. A good way to monitor your intensity during circuit training is by the RPE scale (see chart). An RPE of 3 to 5 is normally safe and effective. Even though it is usually considered an aerobic routine, circuit training uses many different body segments moving at different times. These body segments will vary greatly in their size and therefore have an erratic heart rate response. Therefore, using your heart rate to monitor your exercise intensity during circuit training is not recommended. Circuit training can be fun and you can use a variety of equipment or exercises on the spot. Remember, keep moving.
If you are not progressing as you once were, you may be at a plateau. The reasons for this are that you may need to change your workout. Muscle adaptation responses favorably to change, which can have different effects with different people. Therefore, the "best" change will not be discussed. Try to change the type of exercises, such as machine to free weights, bands, hydraulic, and cable exercises etc...Change can be as subtle as changing the grip selection on a particular exercise or machine. Switching exercises that use the same muscles can be of value. Use different combinations of equipment, such as free weights with machine weights. Change the number of reps performed (the weight will have to be changed as well). Mix up the order of your exercises. If you always wait until the end to do bicep curls, perhaps you just don't have enough energy to work as hard on them as you do with other areas. Rest periods between sets and exercises can also be altered to promote further progress. Getting a partner or changing workout clubs may provide great motivation and increase adherence to your own program. Take time off. Periodic rest periods are necessary. One to three weeks off may provide the rest your body needs. Changing exercises can also not only prevent plateaus, but prevent boredom as well. A different exercise or method may prove to increase your excitement to the exercise and thus increase your work ethic which may drive you past your plateau. I usually recommend changing at least one or more exercise every few weeks rather than every workout. In this way, you may be able to track your progress more accurately. The new exercise may use the same muscle as the old exercise, but stimulates your mind and provide slightly different neurological pathways to lead to further progress. Feel free to try different exercises if only to provide a training option when your favorite machine is being used. Note: You are likely to find that some of the free weight exercises are more comfortable than its machine weight equivalent. Don't forget about sleep and nutrition. Ask yourself if your diet has changed as of late. Look at the types of calories, the amount of fat and carbohydrates. Are you getting enough?
Look for signs of over-training. Over-training can certainly be the reason you are at a plateau. Signs of over training can differ with various individuals. Generally, if one or more of the obvious gains that you have made throughout the course of your program stops or even starts to reverse, you may be over-training. Cutting back on your volume, the weight used, your exercise frequency, or all of these may be needed. Taking a rest period of 1 to 3 weeks is periodically necessary and may be just what the doctor ordered. After about 2 or 3 months of working out, you may feel you are strong enough to meet your needs. After this occurs, studies indicate that you may be able to reduce your lifting frequency (and put more time into your aerobic program) by lifting only once a week on each muscle, instead of 2 to 3 times per week, and still maintain your strength.
There are hundreds and hundreds of seemingly different "programs" out there. A large variety of magazines come out with a different miracle program each week or month. It's hard to keep up. Here is a tip to wade through it all. The specific program you use is not as important as the overall amount and type of work performed. This is an important point. Age, medical status, genetics, conditioning level, nutrition, different work ethics, and programs designed with realistic goals determine program success. I hope the rationale for these recommendations will help you with your own confidence and achievement of your goals. Your commitment is the key. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the most powerful controllable behaviors have and can rely on to greatly enhance our health and mental state. You CAN do it! If you have health concerns, please let me know for program adjustment. If you have questions or need advice, please call me or ask, as I would gladly be of service. Thank you, and exercise your right to good health!