Workouts can be performed in so many ways. For strength training you could use machines, free weights like barbells and dumbbells, resistance bands or your own body weight as resistance. Resistance training is awesome for adding curvaceous muscle and blasting fat away. New research has shown the ability of the body to burn fat for up to 16 hours after finishing a resistance training session. Just as cardio intervals help you drop pounds very efficiently, so, too, does circuit training with free weights because of the elevated resting metabolic rate.
Working out with free weights is also great, because it causes you to use your accessory muscles and tiny stabilizer muscles. This added benefit can’t be achieved on a machine, because the machine forces you to push or pull in an exact motion, whereas working out with free weights leaves room for your stabilizing muscles to fire in the proper way to keep the exact form of the exercise. Try to remember, whenever you use free weights, to perform the movements of the exercise slowly enough to allow gravity to work on the way down, so that your eccentric muscle contraction and antagonist muscles gets all the necessary benefits. For example, performing a bicep curlcause a concentric muscle contraction as you lift and the biceps are flexed. As you lower, the triceps are worked in an eccentric motion as gravity works. Maximum benefit is achieved.
Another way to attain maximum benefit is to do circuit training. Whatever weight-training routine you choose to follow, try doing it in circuit form. Here’s a great goal:
– Do each exercise one after the other.
– Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between circuits and then jump right back into the routine.
– Do as many circuits as you can with an attainable set goal. 3 circuits is a perfect starting point.
– Always allow enough rest between workouts. Don’t do the circuit every day.
– Pick a weight that fatigues you on the last few reps.
Here’s an awesome workout that can be used for circuit training. It’s 10 exercises. Do them right after another and rest in between circuits. This circuit mixes up lower body, pushing and pulling movements so that your muscles are resting between exercises.
- Plie’ Squat (thighs, lower body movement, 8-10 reps)
- Dumbbell Row (back, pulling movement, 10-12 reps)
- Alternating Dumbbell Curl (biceps, pulling movement, 10-12 reps)
- Dumbbell Step-Ups (thighs, glutes, hamstrings, calves, lower body movement, 8-10 reps)
- Flat-Bench Dumbbell Chest Press (pectorals, pushing movement, 10-12 reps)
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (deltoids, pushing movement, 10-12 reps)
- Seated Triceps Extension (triceps, pushing movement, 8-10 reps)
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift (hamstrings, glutes, lower back, lower body movement, 8-10 reps)
- Cross-Bench Pullover (back, chest, triceps, pulling movement, 10-12 reps)
- Standing Dumbbell Cross-Chest Curl (biceps, pulling movement, 10-12 reps)
You have the freedom to create your own circuit workouts with free weights. Get creative and have fun with it.