Circuit Training allows one to achieve the benefits of both aerobic & anaerobic exercise in the same exercise session.

Circuit Training brings out the definition of muscle, the shape & the detail of muscle.  Circuit Training is not the best route for maximum bulking up.

Short rest & higher reps (as in circuit training) actually changes the chemistry of the worked muscle.  Short rest / high reps results in increased lactic acid build up which has a positive effect on both metabolic rate and hormone release.

Optimize circuits with intervals .. circuits w/ intervals = optimized 21st century training.

...  the key to circuit training is continuous movement ...  a '20 second pause' between sets  max!

Circuits are a series of planned (continuous) movements:  3 (continuous) sets of 20 Bicep Curls  .. or (continuous) 3 bicep curl / 3 triceps extension sets. or a 'planned series of (continuous) sets'..  such as (continuous) Drop Sets or (continuous) Compound Sets discussed below.

 

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Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and perform many specialized functions.

 

Circuits: A series of  of exercises / dumb bell movements executed in a  planned fashion with limited rest between movements / exercises.

  • Maintain an aerobic pulse rate doing a continuous series of anaerobic exercises.

  • Circuit's involve cycling from 1 exercise to the next with little or no rest

  • Circuit's are comprised of planned groups of anaerobic exercises / movements performed with structured / planned rest between sets.

  • Goal: Exercise each muscle group anaerobicaly & achieve a systemic aerobic effect.

  • Circuit's should include anaerobic & aerobic exercises for all body parts

 Several sets of dumb bells makes this easy.  Dumb bells are like potato chips .. you can't use just 1 pair.

  • The May, 2007 Issue of Flex Magazine has several articles on circuit training in some form .. Flex reports that Circuit Training in some form has become the favorite routine of several Professional Body Builders.

Physical Optimization requires mixing Aerobics & Aerobics

There are separate & equally beneficial hormonal responses to aerobic & anaerobic exercise

  • Circuit Training mixes aerobic & anaerobic into 1 program.

 

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

We recommend combining aerobic & anaerobic exercise

Circuit Training allows for simultaneous total body aerobic and anaerobic exercise!

We recommend / preach lighter weight than any other program.

Circuit training is based high reps & short rest.

  • Anaerobic & Aerobic exercise EACH provide unique physiological benefit.

  • Combine aerobic with anaerobic for optimum benefit .. our program does that

  • Slow twitch muscles have a higher concentration of mitochondria, or the cellular source of energy.

  • Slow twitch muscles are the basis of endurance.

  • Because there are 2 types of muscle fibers with different functions it is necessary to perform a variety of exercise modalities to stimulate both types of fibers in as many muscle groups as possible.

  • If you've watched the "Bow Flex 20 Minute Workout"  'TV infomercial' you've been exposed to the principles of circuit training

There are 2 types of muscle fibers: Fast Twitch & Slow Twitch.

  • Fast twitch muscles are used primarily in anaerobic explosive exercise.  Sprinting / Anaerobic

  • Slow twitch muscles are used primarily in aerobic endurance exercise.  Long distance / Aerobic.

Aerobics are "mainly" slow twitch.  Anaerobics are "mainly" fast twitch

Easy to get ones pulse over 140 -- 160 ( = aerobic ), while seated, doing a series of upper body anaerobic dumb bell movements!

  • Achieve an aerobic pulse rate doing a continuous series of anaerobic exercise.

  • YOU can achieve a systemic aerobic workout while doing a continuous series of anaerobic exercises.

  • Circuit's can be comprised of a planned body part specific (continuous) series or a planned total body (continuous) series .. Sets can be all (continuous) bicep exercises .. or (continuous) full leg exercises .. or (continuous) calf exercises ..
  • $50. dumbbell equipment vs. $1000. Bow Flex equipment.

  • & dumb bells are better!

Anaerobic exercise = time under load should be 30 - 45 seconds.   Over 60 seconds of exertion & that exercise movement becomes aerobic.  Set length can be controlled by the speed of each rep &/or the number of reps. 

A planned circuit training session is comprised of a series of anaerobic movements resulting in a 45 minute aerobic session.

Add intervals to an aerobic routine to work both types of muscle for optimum physiologic benefit..

Circuit training involves moving from one exercise to the next with minimal rest, 30 seconds MAX, between sets. (we recommend near continuous movement)

For each muscle group have several exercise protocols .. some examples below .. to keep your workouts interesting.

15 years ago I had calendars with schedules & muscle group physiologic optimization exercise plans (= "exercise modules").

Example 1: A bicep / forearm Circuit.

10 sets of back to back exercises that totally works the entire bicep muscle + the brachialis & brachioradialis of the forearm.

  • 3 supersets sets dumb bell curls & hammer curls back to back sets each: Go for the burn.  Total 6 sets

  • Then immediately 2 sets: 'easy bar' bicep curls w/ 'easy bar' reverse curls .. back to back to failure. Total 4 sets!

No Rest. No Pause.

Rotating sets of supersets / compound sets ..  total body circuits is MY standard workout.

I do & recommend total body circuits at each workout . . pre-exhaustion, drop sets, super sets & compounds for all major muscle groups at each workout.

Beginners: working from your list of exercises / movements .. watch a watch / clock .. start a new set every 60 seconds.

Be aware of the 'lactic acid burn' in the worked muscle .. focus on the burn ..

lub the burn .. the burn is good .. the burn does good things for your body

We recommend continuous non stop movements for most of your exercise session

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Slow movements with good form are best.

  • The down movement is VERY IMPORTANT!

  • Proper form will reduce the chance for injury as well as improve benefit!

  • Try slowing down, 1 second up 3 - 4 - 5 seconds down. 

    • 12 reps @ 1 second up - 3 seconds down = 50 seconds under load.

    • 20 reps @ .5 second up - 1 second down = 30 seconds under load.

    • Amazing how REALSLOW dumb bell presses and curls raise the pulse rate while striding on the treadmill.

    • Curling / pressing / extending while striding ..Our recommended program involves a constant circuit of movements.. while striding on the treadmill! or stationary bike .. or both, incredible hamstring burn is possible on a bike.

  • Focus on form, count down .. up slowly.. down real slow. 

  • Focus on each part of the movement!

  • Go for the lactic acid burn in the worked muscles, you should feel the muscle being worked!

  • Then on to the next muscle/exercise movement then on to the next muscle .. finally back to the initial muscle group again .. & again .. & again..

This section describes the principals of our recommended circuit training anaerobic exercise program.

  • Bicep aerobics.  Triceps aerobics.  Deltoid aerobics.

  • 3 -5 sets per dumb bell movement.

  • 12 - 20 reps per set ..  to failure.

    • The last rep on the last set should be difficult.

    • Or possibly you can not do a full # of reps WITH GOOD FORM on the last set

  • A continuous rotation of dumb bell movements, taking each muscle to the lactate threshold.

  • Bicep anaerobics.  Triceps anaerobics.  Deltoid anaerobics.

Sets to failure / lactate threshold in less than 60 seconds = anaerobic

A complete program is critical .. if you push you should pull ..

When the bicep has been exercised anaerobicaly .. rotate to a triceps movement.

  • then to a delt movement .. then to a pec movement .. then to ..

  • Then, over & over & over .. rotation after rotation ..

Advanced Principles: For fun, throw in .. super sets .. compound sets .. drop sets ..

  • Maintain your  targeted pulse rate with isolation upper / lower body movements.

  • Very joint friendly.

  • Low weight is a good thing!

  • Get an excellent muscle group specific workout with light weights.

  • Circuits spread out the 'joint load' of aerobics & is very joint friendly.

  • Failure can be ACHIEVED with very light weight! = THE PUMP!

  • Light weight is joint & tendon friendly.

With the exception of over-head down-pulling movements ( back / lats ) 'any' movement can be done with dumb bells.

  • Chin bars / pull ups can duplicate most of the over head pulley movement variations.

    • 'Home exercise equipment' with 'over head options' is available for $100. up in most full line sporting goods stores.

    • Before the era of necessary high tech/dollar chrome equipment an old fashioned 'chin up bar' worked.

    • Granted some 'isolation exercises' are only possible with chromed pulleys & high tech levers.

  • 95% of natural, day to day, movement can be done with dumb bells.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A new study suggests that doing intense interval training for 20 minutes three times a week is just as effective at boosting strength and endurance as five to six hours of jogging or moderate cycling.

Interval Training: Really push specific muscle groups to anaerobic / lactate threshold levels.

  • Our recommended Lactate Threshold Program takes intervals & circuits to the next level.

  • The 'runners hormonal high' of aerobics combined with the 'pump' of weight training in the same session.

Whey Protein is definitely recommended.  Amino acid stacks can result in surprising gains!

We boil at different degrees. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

You can't always get what you want. But if you try, sometimes you'll get what you need. ~  song.

Focus!

  • Slow movements with good form are best.

  • The down movement is VERY IMPORTANT!

  • Proper form will reduce the chance for injury as well as improve benefit!

  • Try slowing down for a few sets .. it will surprise you!

    • Try slowing down, 1 second up 3 - 4 - 5 seconds down. 

    • 12 reps @ 1 second up - 3 seconds down = 50 seconds under load.

    • 20 reps @ .5 second up - 1 second down = 30 seconds under load.

  • Focus on form, count down .. up slowly.. down real real slow. 

  • Focus on each part of the movement!

  • Amazing how REAL SLOW dumb bell presses and curls raise the pulse rate while striding on the treadmill.

  • Go for the lactic acid burn in the worked muscles, you should feel the muscle being worked!

A balanced exercise program is critical .. if you push you should pull ..

  • Then, over & over & over .. rotation after rotation ..

  • Advanced Principles: For fun, throw in .. super sets .. compound sets .. drop sets ..

Anaerobic / Circuit training

  • Control set length by cadence & weight choice.

AGAIN: The last reps on the last set of any exercise module should be all but impossible.  :-o)

Weightlifting Video: Form & Technique. Clips & Details

  • You can move from one exercise / movement to the next or from set to set, just minimize the rest between sets.
  • 3 - 5 sets of curls back to back, 3 - 5 sets of tricep extensions followed by 3 - 5 sets of military presses  & so on.
  • Back to back to back bicep / tricep / pec / leg work will result in an incredible amount of lactic acid build up in the worked muscle groups & thus a huge hormonal response
  • 1 set of curls followed by 1 set of tricep extensions followed by 1 set of military presses followed by .. & so on. 
    • The precise order is less important than the pace.
    • Be sure to include exercises for all muscle groups.   
  • Variety is the key to stimulating the muscle & the nuero muscular connection. 
  • Variety is the key to a successful program. 
  • Change your routine occasionally & you will achieve additional improvements.  
    • Change the exercises & the order, change the cadence, change the weight / reps.  
    • If the body adapts to your program & enters into homeostasis, your gains will lessen.
    • Once every 4 weeks change the order your routine.  
    • Add new exercises.
    • Add super sets, drop sets or forced reps.  ( described on Advanced  page )
    • Try extra slow eccentric ( or down movement ).. 3 -6 seconds down!
  • Lifting heavy can lead to joint & tendon injuries.
    • Decreasing rest with circuit training will decrease the amount of weight you need for a good workout.
    • Lower weight is joint & tendon friendly. 
  • Strength, muscle tone and muscle size are a function of the volume of exercise: reps, sets & resistance ( weight ). 
    • Higher weight results in more size & strength than lower weights & higher reps.  
    • The higher rep / circuit training techniques will result in more calories burned, definition & muscle tone.

Our goal in this program is to stimulate the hormonal system to increase its output.  We want our body to have an anabolic response.  In order for the anabolic response to be successful we must stress the muscles to the point of near failure.

Try This Optimized Total Body Aerobic Routine!

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