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Circuit Training

Does anyone do circuit training, and if they do, what is a good circuit to perform? I am trying to lose weight and get toned. The current exercises I perform for an upper body cycle are:

Biceps (curls)
Back (lat pulldown)
Triceps (overhead extension)
Chest (bench press)
Shoulders (shrugs)
Forearms (barbell forearm curls)

And for legs, I do:

Thighs (squats,)
Calves (seated calf raises)
Hamstrings (machine curls)

I do 10 repetitions of each, all 9 exercises in consecutive order, with no rest between exercises, every other day. I do 2 circuits, with 2 minutes rest between each complete circuit. Does anyone know of a better circuit to perform? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
Does anyone do circuit training, and if they do, what is a good circuit to perform? I am trying to lose weight and get toned. The current exercises I perform for an upper body cycle are:

Biceps (curls)
Back (lat pulldown)
Triceps (overhead extension)
Chest (bench press)
Shoulders (shrugs)
Forearms (barbell forearm curls)

And for legs, I do:

Thighs (squats,)
Calves (seated calf raises)
Hamstrings (machine curls)

I do 10 repetitions of each, all 9 exercises in consecutive order, with no rest between exercises, every other day. I do 2 circuits, with 2 minutes rest between each complete circuit. Does anyone know of a better circuit to perform? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.[/quote]

First, shrugs work the traps, not the shoulders.

Second, don’t ever say “toned” again.

Third, why are you doing a circuit rather than straight sets or antagonist pairs?

Fourth, lose the overhead triceps crap. Do dips instead. Lose the forearm curls and do some grip work. Lose the shrugs and replace them with military press (or anything that actually works the shoulders).

Fifth, where are the deadlifts? Don’t be a pansy.

Sixth, getting lean is more about what you’re eating than what you’re doing in the gym. And keep in mind that before you look “toned,” as you put it, you need to have some muscle underneath the fat you’re trying to lose. I don’t know if you do or don’t, but make that a priority if you don’t. Yes, at the expense of not seeing your abs for a while. You’ll thank me.

OneEye,

Thanks for the advice I greatly appreciate it. I will implement these ideas into my workouts and hopefully will see results. Thanks again.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
OneEye,

Thanks for the advice I greatly appreciate it. I will implement these ideas into my workouts and hopefully will see results. Thanks again.[/quote]

Damn, you took that better than I expected. Good on you.

If you have the cash, you’d be doing yourself an enormous favor by picking up Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. Here’s a sample beginner program from the book.

Workout A

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B

3x5 Squat
3x5 Military Press
3x5 Power Clean

Warm up using several sets before doing the 3 work sets (or 1 for the deadlift). If you’re using 175, for example, it would look like this:

Warm up sets

2x5xbar (sets x reps x weight)
1x5x85
1x3x125
1x2x155

Work sets

3x5x175

You alternate workout A and B, 3 non-consecutive days per week. So you might do:

Week 1

M

Workout A

W

Workout B

F

Workout A

Week 2

M

Workout B

W

Workout A

F

Workout B

Eat a ton, and you will grow. Eat less than a ton, and you’ll maintain or get lean. Pretty simple stuff.

I personally would add chins and rows, and you may want to skip the power cleans if you don’t have someone that can show you how to do them properly (a real coach or competitive Olympic lifter, not a buddy that claims to know how to do it). Feel free to add dips, heavy curls, calf work, lateral deltoid work, etc., but only after you have completed the compound lifts.

Here’s the key to success: add weight to the bar as often as possible. Here’s a good way to progress on a program like this: if you got all 15 reps on your 3 work sets (5 reps on the deadlift for 1 work set), increase the weight next workout. If you didn’t, but you got at least 12 reps (maybe 3 for deadlift), keep the weight the same the next workout, but strive for at least one more rep! If you fail to get at least 12 reps (3 for deadlift), decrease the weight next workout.

Enjoy!

OneEye,

Thanks again for your knowledge. Are you a professional bodybuilder? Because you really know your stuff. I like the circuit that you gave, I shall give it a try.

I am 6’4 and 280 pounds, I’m trying to get down to 225. I’ve increased my cardio, but need to hit the weights better and smarter, so I will try your program. Thanks again.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
OneEye,

Thanks again for your knowledge. Are you a professional bodybuilder? Because you really know your stuff.[/quote]

LOL! Far from it, man. The stuff in that post is very basic, but a good grasp of the basics is exactly what most guys lack.

It isn’t a circuit, and I wouldn’t recommend performing it as such. Do all your sets of one lift, then move on to the next, etc.

Hit the weights hard and heavy, and let your diet and cardio take care of the fat loss, and you’ll be doing well. I’d recommend reading anything you can find by John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery. Getting a copy of Berardi’s Gourmet Nutrition e-book will change the way you look at healthy eating, because the recipes in there are damn tasty.