A great way to burn fat and increase endurance is through circuit training. Circuit training is a form of exercise where you have multiple stations, in which you do different exercises for short periods of time. The key to doing this effectively is keeping a fast pace in moving from station to station. This accomplishes the ultimate goal of keeping your heart rate up, and it is a great way to burn fat.
Creating Your Circuit Training
This form of training essentially breaks down in to two components. The cardio portion and the resistance exercise portion. Each station is the resistance exercise portion. Within a room or space, you can have multiple work out stations where each one is different, such as one where you do weights, one where you use an elastic band, one where you do push ups, and so forth. It is beneficial to have each station work a different muscle group. You can have one for arms, one for shoulders, one for calves, etc. Or you can focus entirely on upper body strength one day, and lower body strength on another day. Abdominals can be worked every day.
Keep Your Heart Rate Up
Once you have set up your stations (8-12 is ideal), go ahead and establish a high aerobic cardio activity to do in between each station such as running in place, jumping jacks, “mountain climbers”, etc. This ensures that you are always physically exerting yourself, and your heart rate will remain at a high level. This will help build endurance and burn fat. Keeping the heart rate constant, like while running, is good, but you build better cardiovascular endurance when your heart rate is constantly changing from lower to higher, and back down to lower beats per minute (BPM).
By keeping the heart guessing, and having it go from 80 BPM to 120 BPM and back down to 80 BPM, it strengthens it’s ability to pump blood through the body, creating better endurance. Also, by doing this, your heart is better trained to go back down to a resting rate quicker. If you find yourself sweating and overheated an hour after you work out, this will help.
Circuit Training is a great way to keep your heart rate up, create endurance, and burn fat. However, it is not the most efficient way to build muscle if that is your goal. The reason for this is because each exercise is done for a short period of time. Muscles need multiple reps over a longer period of time in order to strengthen and grow. Circuit training is high energy and your goal should be to never take a break. You are always moving and always doing some form of exercise. This is tiring, but can be fun as well. Because you are in a fixed location, try putting music on over loud speakers, or timing yourself each completion of the course, and then try to beat your time.
You can do a course with a partner or even multiple individuals. Have everyone start at a different station and all move clockwise or counter clockwise around the room. This will encourage everyone to keep going and not fall behind, slowing the group down. This of course, helps encourage circuit training’s main goal of keeping you moving, keeping your heart rate up, building endurance and burning fat.