Fitness circuits | Training, Endurance and Stations
Circuit training is a form of resistance physical conditioning where we exercise mixed metabolic efforts (aerobic and anaerobic). It has a toning, slimming function and serves as strength and resistance training.
A fitness circuit It is a system adaptable to the needs of each athlete, their level of training and progress. These can have a low impact, like gentle gymnastics for the elderly, or demand a high energy level like a high intensity HIIT workout.
You will get great benefits with this training method, from the aesthetic objective to the search for a good general physical shape. It will help us in the prevention and cure of metabolic pathologies, to recover joint discomfort and even mood disorders. Sounds great doesn't it?
Benefits of the fitness circuit
The fitness circuit can confer a long series of benefits to sedentary people. The main ones are:
- Improved mood (also for the release of endorphins), self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Greater oxygenation of the tissues.
- Greater general resistance.
- Increased muscle tone, strength and endurance
- Greater functional capacity, in gestures and in daily life.
- Optimization of weight loss, compared to the low calorie diet alone, due to an increase in energy expenditure.
- Raises the anaerobic threshold
- Possible preventive action on joint degeneration, not only of osteoarthritis, but also of rheumatoid pathologies.
- Improvement of cardiocirculatory fitness, with optimization of coronary flow, increase in systolic range, greater peripheral capillary action, optimization of venous return, etc.
- Improvement of respiratory fitness, with greater ease of bronchial dilation under stress in benefit of lung parameters.
- Prevention of cardiovascular discomfort related to arteriosclerosis and worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Reduction of blood pressure, improvement of cholesterolemia (increase in HDL), reduction of blood sugar and triglyceridemia, in the presence of weight loss and associated hyperuricemia, with decrease of uric acid in the blood.
- Optimization of the maintenance of bone density.
- Maintain balance in old age.
- Possible strengthening of the immune system.
- The fitness circuit, like all forms of regular exercise, can actually slow down certain effects of aging. Obviously, in the most extreme form, it can also increase global oxidative stress.
Contraindications of the fitness circuit.
Contraindications to the physical conditioning circuit are mainly related to pre-existing pathologies, or with individual predispositions, or with excessive commitment. Let's see the main ones:
- Severe obesity
- Severe underweight
- Severe heart disease
- High vascular, cardiac but also cerebral risk
- Severe low back pain and other types of diseases of the spine
- Related joint deficiencies or muscle / tendon deterioration in specific movements
- Muscle or tendon impairment related to specific movements
Losing weight: Fitness circuit to burn fat
The physical conditioning circuit is an activity that can be mainly oriented to aerobic metabolism to act in the lipolytic area. This, as its name indicates, is characterized by the maximum percentage consumption of fatty acids in relation to the total (in which carbohydrates are also involved).
One should not make the mistake of thinking that, going beyond the aforementioned intensity, the absolute amount of fat consumed is clearly less; it is only the percentage of it that decreases, while that of carbohydrates increases; in fact, Increasing the intensity also increases the total energy consumption.
However, the fitness circuit offers the opportunity to optimize the time spent in training, targeting fat more specifically, thus reducing the amount of fat deposits.
When training with fitness circuits it is possible consume a lot of calories. However, as with all other activities, this does not necessarily correlate with a slimming effect. Weight loss is the consequence of a negative energy balance, that is, the arithmetic result of (Energy IN - Energy OUT); it means that the calories consumed with the diet should be lower than those consumed with the training.
By practicing the physical conditioning circuit it is possible to significantly increase caloric expenditure.
However, weight loss occurs only when the diet remains the same as when it was sedentary, or in any case increases insignificantly. This may seem obvious to most readers, but in truth it is far from obvious. Exercise, as we know, determines a greater sensation of appetite; It is due to reduced blood sugar and depletion of glycogen stores, especially in the liver. So, if on the one hand sports practice helps us consume more, on the other hand, it improves the stimulation of appetite and hunger. Therefore, it becomes essential to maintain a certain self-control, without falling into an overestimate of what could have been burned during the session.
Fitness circuit routines
The fitness circuit is to perform a sequence of exercises consecutively, and then repeat the same series. And then again. That's circuit training, easy right?
You will find all kinds of circuit training routines. Here are some things that most have in common:
-Variety of exercises: A normal circuit will have between five and ten different exercises also called "stations".
-Little rest between exercises. The goal of circuit training is to keep your heart rate high. The ideal would be to go from one exercise to another without stopping.
-Number of repetitions of the circuit: Three complete repetitions of the circuit is the most common.
-Pre-heating: With the aim of raising the heart rate, activating muscles and joints to prepare our body for the session, here is an advanced warm-up circuit that you can do anywhere:
- Jump rope: 2-3 minutes
- Jumps: 50
- Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
- Lunges: 5 repetitions each leg
- Hip extensions: 10 reps
- Hip rotations: 10 repetitions on each leg
- Forward leg swings: 10 repetitions each leg.
- Side leg shifts: 10 reps each leg
- Push-ups: 10-20 repetitions.
Once prepared, it is time to choose the exercises for your circuit. Remember that we would have to move between 5 and 10 exercises per series. Each exercise should have a number of repetitions or execution time adapted to the level of the athlete and set a recovery time between sets that can range from two to four minutes. Here we leave you a selection:
- Cardio exercises: Skipping rope, jumping rope, mountaineer, steps, sprints, high knee jumps, running on site, paddling page, long jumps, box jumps.
- Upper trunk exercises: Push-ups in any of its variants, pull up, vertical row with manucernas and pull-ups
- Lower trunk exercises: Bodyweight squats, lunges, kettlebell swings, and farmer carry.
- Basic exercises: irons, side irons, reverse crunches
To carry out a complete and more complex circuit training it will be useful to use additional loads to increase the degree of difficulty and, consequently, the results. For this reason, different tools have been invented that can be used both in gyms and at home; Among the most common and accessible we can find the elastic bands or rubber bands, medicine balls, the kettlebell, BOSU and the weights. All these materials are very simple to use and will allow you to tone, strengthen and work the muscles of your body at different intensities, and the best of these tools at very affordable prices!
In the area of fitness and well-being, this circuit training system is very popular with people who interrupt their routines during the summer holidays, but at the same time they do not want to stop completely so as not to start from scratch when they return. In these circumstances, the fitness circuit method It has a maintenance function and must be stimulating and fun. The duration in these cases must not exceed forty minutes including warm-up.