Do you want to burn fat away? Of course you do. Do you want to spend 3 hours at the gym? Maybe, but if you are like most working people with a family, you’d like to see them for more than 30 minutes a day. Even if you are single and have plenty of time to spend at the gym, circuit training can be an awesome way to keep your heart rate up, shed fat, and push your body to the limits. You can do all this and more without spending your entire morning or night at the gym.

So what is circuit training? It’s simple. The circuit itself is a series of exercises ranging anywhere from 6-10 with a rep range in the 12-20 range for each exercise. The rep range depends on the exercise being performed. For instance, if you are doing a set of biceps curls, you may perform 12 reps with each arm and follow that exercise up with a step-up and do 20 reps with each leg. That’s exactly what a circuit is – one exercise directly after another with no rest in between.

Common sense should tell you a circuit of all chest work, for example, wouldn’t bode well for your body. If you had 10 straight exercises all focusing on the chest like a pushup followed by a bench press followed by a chest fly, etc., you would burn out too quickly and lose form easily. A more practical approach would be to either choose exercises that alternate upper body muscle groups or exercises that alternate upper and lower body areas.

The upper and lower body alternating approach is the best way to circuit train. While one muscle group rests, the other is being worked, so you get maximum benefit while using your time as wisely as you can. As mentioned above, you may have all the time in the world, but it still helps to circuit train, especially if weight loss is one of your goals. Continual movement keeps your heart pumping and keeps you burning calories. If you find a good routine, whether it’s using machines, free weights, or body weight, you can really get a great workout with circuit training.

When circuit training at the gym, be careful to see how others around you are working out and which machines they are using. It may be tough to set up a good circuit training routine if you plan on using the majority of machines. This could really annoy your fellow gym-goers

Here’s a helpful tip for circuit training at the gym: pick 2-3 machines and alternate between using the machine and using body weight. You could do a set of pushups, a set of leg presses, a set of chest flys, jump rope for 30 seconds, do some bicep curls followed by dumbbell lunges and finish with some planks or crunches. Rest for 30-60 seconds and then repeat the circuit. Get creative with your workouts and you can really confuse your muscles and push them to the max.