If you’re looking for the fastest ways to lose weight, then throw fat burning circuit training into your bag of tricks. Adding circuit training routines to your weekly fitness plan can simply melt away the fat! Why? Because with a little bit of planning, your circuit training workout will be a high intensity workout with all the benefits that increased metabolism and lean muscle mass have to offer. See the benefits of interval training for more on this.
Another good thing is that you can perform your circuit training at home, with little or no equipment.
Personally, I like to add a pure dumbell circuit training session into my fitness plan at least once per week as for me I like to work my strength endurance quite hard for my upper body. However, there are literally hundreds of bodyweight exercises you can choose from that require no equipment. That’s yet another good thing about circuit training at home (or in the gym)…you get to choose the exercises that best suit you!
Take a look at the following pointers to help structure your fat burning workouts.
Choosing Exercises for your Fat Burning Circuit Training
The best fat burning workouts use multi-muscle group or multi-joint exercises than take more effort to perform. These tend to burn more calories and have a greater effect on your metabolism post workout. (There’s been a lot of research into post exercise calorie burn in recent years.)
For example, which do you think will burn more calories, 20 bicep curl repetitions or 20 squat thrusts? The answer is the squat thrusts because you are using many more muscle groups (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, muscles of the back, shoulders, and to a lesser extent the arm muscles).
So can you now see how circuit training routines can be one of the fastest ways to lose weight naturally?
The following list of exercises are great to add to your list.
High knee sprints
Including the above will really propel your fat burning. But add other exercises into your circuit training routines as well, like bicep curls, lateral dumbbell raises, shoulder presses, and the like.
These exercises, though have less effect on your aerobic capacity (VO2 Max), will certainly add to your strength endurance and lean muscle mass, which in turn will permanently increase your metabolism. Free calorie burning…awesome!
Layout of Your Fat Burning Circuit Training Workout
The layout of your circuit training routines is important. Otherwise it will turn from an incredible fat burning circuit training session into a total flop!
Though your circuits are high intensity, and will cross between the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, you want to ensure you work aerobically as much as possible. This is where most of your calorie expenditure will come from.
So for any exercises that use dumbbells or isolate a specific set of muscles, make sure you only use dumbells that are about 5% to 10% of your bodyweight. This will ensure you can continue through to the end of your circuit without your muscles failing and seizing up.
Also, to start with at least, add a short rest between each set. A good start is 20 seconds, or even 30 if you are at the beginning of your new fitness lifestyle. Over the weeks, you can gradually decrease the rest between each exercise, say by 3 to 5 seconds.
Intersperse your multi-muscle group exercises with isolation exercises at least every few exercises. This will give you additional rest time between the real tough aerobic exercises, allowing you to reach the end of your circuit training routines without blowing up.
For example, if you perform a set of burpees then a set of squat thrust followed by a set of star jumps, you’re going to be pretty knackered unless you are really fit. So add a set of bicep curls in between the squat thrusts and start jumps. This will allow you some additional rest time, without sitting on your backside doing nothing!
Finally…experiment! You can either choose to work within a timeframe, or count reps. That is, perform a certain number of repetitions for each set (say 20 squat thrusts) or simply perform as many repetitions as you can in 15 or 20 seconds. But whichever method you choose (there’s nothing stopping you alternating to mix things up a little) you should perform your repetitions fast! In fact, as fast as you can without causing yourself and injury.
Final thoughts on Fat Burning Circuit Training
If you want to shed your excess pounds, adding circuits to your fitness plan really is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.
As an additional challenge, after a few sessions building your fitness and stamina up, add some HIIT training and Tabata training into the mix. For incredible fat burning workouts, add a Tabata cycle at the end of your circuit. It’ll really finish you off.
Take a look at the Tabata Squats video to see what I mean. And then take a look at the list of free workout plans to really add some oomph to your fitness plan.