How about a little circuit training for your Wednesday before the 4th of July holiday, eh??
–Okay, sorry I know I just threw in a little Canadian “eh” right there… but July 1st is Canada Day after all! (Hi Canadians! I heart you 😀 Happy Canada Day!)
Alright, so CIRCUIT TRAINING, especially involving weights, is a great way to burn fat without involving too much cardio. If you read my last post on HIIT workouts, excessive cardio is not the best form of exercise for fat burning. In fact, there are many experts out there that believe cardio can actually be detrimental for achieving results regarding fat loss and optimal body composition. Why? A few reasons…
1. Cardio lowers testosterone. Testosterone is a muscle-building hormone in the body. Both men and women produce the testosterone hormone, but women produce it in smaller doses, which is why women will NOT “bulk up” or “look like a man” when they start weight lifting. PLEASE get that mindset out of your head, ladies. 🙂
2. Cardio can increase cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone”. It is released when your body is under stress, both mentally AND physically. You can not help cortisol being released. It will actually naturally release during all forms of exercise, but excessive cardio is the worst culprit. When you combine a spike in cortisol, on top of your daily stress levels, which also elevates cortisol, therein lies your problem, and you’ll actually hold on to fat. We don’t want that.
3. Cardio can interfere with muscle building. Doing cardio too long, too often, or on an empty stomach will elevate cortisol levels, which wants to break down muscle tissue. You want to BUILD muscle, not break it down.
Now mind you, cardio is obviously still a great form of exercise. And there is a LOT of research out there coming from all sides. But these are the few things I am seeing over and over again regarding cardio versus weight-lifting and muscle building. And, every one has different goals. But if you’re looking to burn fat, cardio should not be your go-to, or sole form of exercise.
So here is a total body circuit I’ve put together for you. You’ll be working some major muscle groups, and some smaller ones. The goal with this circuit is to not completely exhaust your muscles on each set, but definitely feel the burn. You don’t want to tire out too quickly, because you should be able to go through the circuit at least two times. Take small rests between exercises, 20-30 seconds max, so your heart rate stays slightly elevated.
I’ve included links to most of the exercises below, because form is key in strength training and weight lifting. Using correct form and technique will ensure you’re working the muscles properly, and safely. This will then allow for greater muscle building, and less risk of injury. If you’re new to weight training, don’t be afraid to ask a gym staff member for help on a certain exercise, or for them to demonstrate how to use a particular machine. That is what they are there for! Don’t be shy. No one is “watching” you. Or “judging” you. You’ve got this! 🙂
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!
Links to all the movements so you can get the correct form >>>
Dumbell Curl (once at the top of this movement you will go into Arnold Press)
Tricep Bench Dip (extend feet out straight for more advanced)
Mountain Climber (12x PER LEG, so 24 total if you’re counting each leg as 1,2,3, etc.) 😉
P.S. SUPERSETS are meant to be done back-to-back, no rest between. So the “Superset A” consists of the chest press, followed directly by the chest fly, with NO rest. Same goes for “Superset B”. Between the different exercises in the circuit, rest as little or as much as needed, but try to keep the rest under 1 minute so your heart rate stays elevated.