A Circuit Method For Losing Body Fat And Showing The Six Pack.

Circuit training is an extremely effective method for speeding up the process of losing fat. Simple to say yes, but a definate challenge when put into practice. Read on to learn more about this method of training.
You want to lose fat? Increase your muscle tone all-through? Improve your cardio endurance? Your schedule is tight, or your workout times are spoken for?

The following routines are the answer. They are easy to perform, and can be snug into the tightest of schedules... if you really want to. They include programs for all levels of trainees, from beginner to intermediate and then advanced. They can be easily adjusted to follow your improving skills. Read on for detailed information and programs.

The Circuit increases your heart rate through high intensity movements. Therefore you will experience the following benefits:

  • Enhance your metabolic rate which will improve your daily caloric expenditure.
  • Improve your cardiovascular conditioning by increasing the heart rate to about 90% of its maximum. (How to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR): MHR = 220 - your age)
  • Increase the coordination between your upper and lower body.
  • Improve the neuro-motor unit.
  • Improve your speed/strength.
  • Increase your lean tissue and lower your body fat.
  • Release stress and improve your overall mood.
  • Increase your energy levels.
  • Improve your anaerobic endurance.


Maximum Heart Rate
Enter Your Age - Press Calculate.
Maximum Heart Rate
Target Heart Rate 60-80%
Target Heart Rate 75-85%
Target Heart Rate 80-90%

My program isn't suitable for sedentary people or those who suffer from heart problems such as high blood pressure. This circuit shouldn't be tried for fun. Be sure to consult your physician before starting any kind of physical activity. To achieve optimum results you must eat a well balanced healthy diet.


The Program

You must perform the exercises in the following order first: exercise 1, second: exercise 2, third: exercise 3, and then repeat in the same order. Resting time between sets must be "active" such as walking slowly on the ground with full inhalation/exhalation.

Beginner's Program

    This is for people who exercise regularly one hour once a week. The program must be performed in 10-15 minutes 3 times/week.

    (Target Heart Rate (THR): this is the heart rate zone that you must stay within. In order to keep track of it, you need to use a heart rate monitor.)

    For beginners, THR = 60-80% of MHR

    Beginner's Program
    Exercise Reps/Time Sets Rest
    Leg raise, 45 degrees angle 15 3-4 1- 1 ½ minute
    Jump Rope 50 3-4 1- 1 ½ minute
    Side bends 100 3-4 1- 1 ½ minute

    Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Beginners Program.

Intermediate Program

    This is for people who exercise usually 1 hour 2-4 times per week. The program must be performed in around 15-20 minutes 3 times/ week.

    For intermediates, THR = 75-85% of MHR

    Intermediate Program
    Exercise Reps/Time Sets Rest
    Leg raise, 45 degrees angle
    combined with hip raise legs up
    15-25 3-4 30 sec-1 min
    Jump Rope 100-150 3-4 30 sec-1 min
    Side Bends 100 3-4 30 sec-1 min

    Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Intermediate Program.

Advanced Program

    This is perfect for athletes. I perform it regularly. The program must be performed in 20-25 minutes 3 times/ week.

    For athletes, THR = 80-90% of MHR.

    Advanced Program
    Exercise Reps/Time Sets Rest
    Hanging leg raise 15-25 4-5 0-15sec
    Jump rope
    Method 1
    200
    400
    500
    400
    200
    5 0-15sec
    Jump rope
    Method 2:
    250-350 4-5 0-15sec
    Side bends 100/1 minute 4-5 0-15sec

    Click Here For A Printable Log Of The Advanced Program.

In order to increase the intensity of the workout you may vary the following:

-Reduce resting time between sets. -Increase the number of repetitions. -Increase the speed in the jump rope. -Add one set to the program to each exercise. -Upgrade to intermediate level for beginners, and advanced level for intermediates.


Exercises

Leg Raise At 45 Degree Angle

    Lie on your back, legs straight and extended vertically toward the ceiling, with your inner thighs and heels squeezed together. Put your hands behind your head to support your neck which must be kept slightly tucked.

    Lower your still-straight legs toward the mat until your back begins to arch off the mat (approximately to 45 degrees), then lift your straight legs toward the ceiling.


Click To Enlarge.
Leg Raise At 45 Degree Angle.

2. Leg Raise At A 45 Degree Angle Combined With Hip Raise Legs Up

    The first phase of the movement is the first repetition of exercise number 1, then when your straight legs reach 90 degrees with your upper body slowly raise your hips upward about ten centimetres above the floor and then lower them back to the 90 degrees position.

    Then lower the legs to 45 degree angle to perform again the leg raise. Always focus on your abdominals during the whole performance.


Click To Enlarge.
Leg Raise At A 45 Degree Angle Combined With Hip Raise Legs Up.

3. Hanging Leg Raise

    Place the hanging straps on a high bar or something equivalent but safe! Slowly lift your knees to your chest and avoid balancing on the bar.


Click To Enlarge.
Hanging Leg Raise.

4. Jump Rope

    Hold the jump rope in both hands, keep the elbows slightly bent. Start jumping with both feet together using the wrists and doing small turns originating from your shoulder joint. Do not bend your knees in excess and try to keep your landings as smooth and soft as possible.


Click To Enlarge.
Jump Rope.

5. Side Bends

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your shoulders aligned; bend towards the side of the right hand, then get back to the initial position.

    Do the same for the other side. Increase the speed of the movement little by little as you're getting a good warm-up, then eliminate the short resting segment in the middle of the movement (the starting/stand-up position).


Click To Enlarge.
Side Bends.

Note

  • If your heart rate exceeds the target zone, you must check/perform the following:

    • Make sure that you've chosen the right program and the proper level.

    • If you're a beginner, and the heart rate slightly surpasses the upper limit of your target zone (around 5 bpm), you may either reduce your speed or the number of repetitions in the jump rope.

  • If your heart rate fails to reach the target you must upgrade to the next level.

  • Don't forget to cool down after you finish the program. Cooling down must take 5-10 minutes of walking with proper breathing (Full inhalation and exhalation), and stretching.


Stretching Exercises

1. Hamstrings Stretch

    Place one straight leg on the bench in front of you. Try to reach the toes of your extended leg with the same hand. Keep the other leg straight on the floor or bend it slightly. Hold for 15-20 seconds then switch to the other leg.


Click To Enlarge.
Hamstrings Stretch.

2. Quadriceps Stretch

    Hold your bent leg with the same hand and bring the heel to your buttocks. Hold for 15-20 seconds then switch to the other leg.


Click To Enlarge.
Quadriceps Stretch.

3. Calf Stretch

    Place one foot in front of the other and about 20 inches/50 centimetres apart. Bend the front knee and keep the rear heel on the floor. Keep bending until you feel the rear calf stretch. Hold for 15-20 seconds then change to the other leg.


Click To Enlarge.
Calf Stretch.

4. Upper Body Stretch

    Place your hands on the chin-ups bar. Extend your arms and lower yourself. Maintain this position for 15-20 seconds.


Click To Enlarge.
Upper Body Stretch.

5. Abdominals Stretch

    Body prone, place your hands next to shoulders, palms to the floor. Lift your chest upward, and roll your shoulders back and down.


Click To Enlarge.
Abdominals Stretch.


The Circuit Diet

As I mentioned above, optimum results could be achieved if following a balanced diet. My diet consists mainly of protein, complex and low glycemic carbohydrates and unsaturated fats.

Sample Diet

    Meal 1: Sandwich
    • 1 slice whole wheat bread
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cucumber or tomato or both
    • 100-200g fat-free yogurt or 3-4 egg whites and 1 yellow

    Meal 2:

    • 50g brown rice or 100-150g cooked lentils/beans.
    • 100-200g chicken breast
    • 1 orange

    Meal 3:

    • 100-200g tuna
    • 50g whole wheat pasta or 30-50g roasted peanuts
    • 1 apple

    Meal 4:

    • Whey protein shake (23g protein), or 250-500ml skim milk
    • Small cup of cherries, or 4-5 small prunes.

    Meal 5:

    • 1 large green vegetable salad (including 50-100g of fat-free cheese or chicken/tuna)


Conclusion

Take the right decision now, and get yourself moving! Even if you are already working out, this circuit routine will improve your performance drastically. Combine it with an appropriate nutrition plan, and expect prompt, lasting results that will impact your life in a very positive and confidence boosting way. Forget about next Monday, start now!