Tips for Fitness Strength Training
By Matt Smolsky
, last updated December 16, 2011
Fitness strength training, also called circuit training, is a great way to build your muscles, lose fat and get your heart rate up. While it's not a card workout, it does have some cardiovascular benefits. Here are tips for fitness strength training you can start using on your next trip to the gym.
You can do fitness strength training in as little as 20 minutes. The key is to move from exercise to exercise as quickly as you can. The object is to work a targeted muscle group and increase your heart rate to a zone that burns fat and sugar. Be cautious with the amount of weight you use. You want to stress your muscles, not injure them.
First start with biking or jogging to get your heart rate up, just 2 or 3 minutes will do. Try to get your heart rate into the low end of your fat burning zone.
Then, move to squats. Be careful about the amount of weight you use in your squats, as they can be hard on you knees if you use too much. Do the maximum number of squats that you can in 1 or 2 minutes.
Move quickly to a bench press for one minute. Use a weight that you can do quickly and safely, but one that challenges your muscles. From the bench press, move to the military press. Keep your knees slightly bent to protect your legs.
Lunges are next. These are generally done without weights, but you can hold a light weight in each hand to increase your effort. Perform lunges for 1 minute on each leg.
Then do pull-ups. These will work similar muscles to the bench press and are quite difficult, so don't be discouraged if you can only do a few to start. You can also do pull downs on a weigh machine if you're not ready for pull ups.
Bike or jog for about 3 minutes before bicep curls for 1 to 2 minutes. Follow the bicep curls with leg extensions, 1 minute on each leg. Next do tricep extensions (sometimes called tricep kickbacks) for 1 minute. Move on to leg curls, 1 minute for each leg.
Finally, bike or jog for about 3 more minutes and finish with 2 minutes of sit-ups or crunches. You can add different abdominal workouts as you see fit.
Circuit workouts are a great way to keep from getting bored with your workout. You can vary the above routine in a variety of ways. You can start with different exercises and mix them up as you see fit. If you're tired of the bench press, try push-ups instead. Do the military press with free weights instead of on a machine. They key is to not work the same or similar muscle groups one after the other and to mix in jogging or biking every two or three exercises. This will help you muscles recover and keep your heart rate up. Mixing a resistance training program with light cardio work over a period of weeks and months will lower your body fat, reduce your waistline and tone your muscles.