Get off the treadmill, and get ready for a Circuit Party!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quote of the day: "Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere." - Anonymous (I need to tatoo this one to my forehead!)

Articles of the day: What to Eat Before You Workout, and What to Eat After You Workout Check out these articles to find out what your body needs pre and post sweat session!

When many of us think of working out, we think of sweating it out on our favorite piece of cardio equipment (mine is the stairmill), running, or going to an aerobics class. However, there is another component of fitness that is just as import as cardio, and that is strength training. Strength training is crucial, especially for women, who start to lose muscle mass rapidly as we age. Now, if you are thinking to yourself right now, “but Lauren, I don’t want to bulk up and look like a man,” I assure you that will not happen. Women simply do not have enough testosterone in our bodies to build large bulky muscles. Pheww!

Adding strength training to your workout routine does not mean doubling the amount of time you have to spend in the gym. I used to think, “I only have an hour to workout, I have to do cardio so I can burn as many calories as possible!” However, by including strength training in your routine, you will increase your lean muscle mass and therefore burn more calories at rest! Circuit training is a great alternative to traditional strength training. During circuit training you move quickly from one exercise to the next, keeping rest to a minimum. By lifting this way, you keep your heart rate elevated and burn more calories. To torch major calories during your lifting session, add in some high intensity interval drills like jump rope or plyometric box jumps! If you are currently doing cardio five days a week try swapping two cardio days for a total body circuit workout. You will still burn calories and start to sculpt a leaner, stronger physique! Below, is my favorite circuit workout. All you need is dumbells, a stability ball, and a jump rope. Have Fun!

Group 1:
  • Squats (feet hip distance apart) holding dumbbells in your hands (8-15 pounds) 10-12 reps
  • Stability ball pushups- roll out on stability ball so your shins or feet are on the ball and do 8-12 pushups
  • Stability ball bridge with hamstring curl (lying on the ground with your heels on the ball, lift your hips off the ground, then roll the ball towards you bringing your glutes to your heels
  • Jump Rope 45sec - 1min
Group 2:

  • Narrow squat with an overhead shoulder press (7-10 lbs) 10-12 reps
  • Bicep curls, for an added challenge stand on one leg (7-10lbs) 10-12 reps
  • Front shoulder raises, bring weight straight out in front of you level with your shoulder, then lower it back down (5-10lbs) 10-12 reps
  • Jump Rope 45sec - 1min

Group 3:
  • One arm row (10-15lbs) 10-12 reps (Challenge: place left hand on stability ball with left foot forward, lift the right leg off the ground and back behind you so you have to balance as you row)
  • Triceps kickback (5-10lbs.) 10-12reps on each arm, do one arm at a time with free hand on stability ball
  • Walking lunges (10-15lbs) hold the dumbbells in your hand and do 12-15 lunges on each leg
  • Jump Rope 45sec - 1min 

To complete this circut you will do 1 set of each exercise in the group, including the cardio set without resting. Then take a 1 min rest and start back over with the 1st exercise. For example: to complete group one, you would do 1 set of squats, 1 set of stability ball ham curls, 1 set of pushups, and 1 minute of jump rope. Then rest for 1 minute and repeat the entire group again. Start with 2 rounds of each group, and when you have mastered that add a 3rd round! This workout will hit all of the major muscles in your body while scorching mega calories! 

Yours truly,
Lauren G.

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