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Circuit Training Exercises



Circuit Training Exercises

A quick survey for you:

  1. Have you been at the same gym for at least six months?
  2. Do many of the guys who go to your gym at least look familiar by now?
  3. Do almost all of these guys still have just about the same physique as they did when you first saw them?
  4. Do you have just about the same physique since the first time they saw you?

Time for a Change

Before answering, I want you to really, really think about these questions. Think about that guy you see almost every night — the one who does a set of heavy bench presses, walks around for ten minutes or so, talks on his cell phone, and then finally does another set.

Also, think about the dude who wears the same freakin’ shirt every time he goes to the gym and does the same freakin’ workout just about every time. As best as you can recall, did these guys’ physiques, six months ago, look identical to the way they looked, say, last night when you saw them at the gym?

I also want you to think about yourself. If you were to look at a photo of yourself from six months ago, would your physique still look the exact same (or, perhaps even worse)?

Now answer the above-stated questions.

I’d be willing to guess that 75% of the people answering these questions answer Yes to all 4. What makes me so self-assured in my presumption? Because up until a year ago, I would have answered Yes to all of them.

So, what has happened since last year, you may be wondering. Unfortunately, most of their physiques have gone unchanged for those other random dudes with whom I share the gym for about an hour a night. As for mine, however, there has been a dramatic decrease in body fat percentage and a marked increase in muscle definition.

Split Routines

For 15 or so years, I followed the traditional split routine; working two or three muscle groups per day, one day per week (or, in some weeks, two times). This muscle-building routine is tried and true, being followed, and championed by some of the greatest bodybuilders in the world.

But, I failed to realize for 15 years that a bodybuilding split routine was not right for me; a guy who simply wanted to get into great shape, not compete on stage in a flex-off. Then, as of last year, I finally listened to advice that I had been giving to so many others that I had worked out with and/or trained, and that was to try a circuit training routine.

Circuit Training

Since switching to a circuit routine, I walk out of the gym each day feeling like I actually worked out, rather than simply feeling slightly swollen and pumped. The sweat cascades down the side of my face and soaks its way through my shirt, my muscles feel so challenged that they quiver, and my heart races faster than an Indy car.

The bottom line: It feels right. In less than a year’s time, I have seen my body actually evolve; something that I questioned was even possible after so many years of not achieving my desired results.

Typically, if I had read this very article in the past, I would have dismissed such a workout as being something that may work well for someone else, but it couldn’t possibly challenge someone who has been lifting weights for fifteen years. More or less, that’s why I never bothered to try a circuit training routine — my own hubris stood in the way.

Results Speak Louder Than Words

Now, one year later and with a six-pack that you can actually see, I regret having been such a stubborn fool for so many years prior.

One thing to bear in mind — by no means are the circuit training exercises and workouts to which I refer easy. And, you still lift weights while performing them. Possibly even very heavy weights that you can only lift for 4 to 6 reps.

No matter which circuit you choose to try, the key to the workout itself is to keep your heart rate up from start to finish. To do so, this means that you will not be taking any breaks in between sets (or, at most, you will take 15 seconds). Also, finishing or touching-up exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc. — consider those a thing of the past.

Instead, you will focus on exercises that utilize several major muscle groups, such as the pull-up, bench press, squat, deadlift, and others.

You answered Yes to the survey questions for a reason: you and the people around you at the gym have not seen any significant gains in the past six months because you keep performing the same damn workout. And, chances are, it’s a split routine.

Maybe, just maybe, you can take a chance on something. Try spending the next 3 months performing a resistance-based circuit training workout. Then, go back to my survey questions.

Chances are, you will at least be able to answer No to the question about your own physique. As for the other guys in the gym, that’s up to you if you want to share your secret.



Dumbbell Workouts – 4 Tips to Avoid Injury and Embarrassment



Dumbbell Workouts – 4 Tips to Avoid Injury and Embarrassment

Dumbbell Workouts – 4 Tips to Avoid Injury and Embarrassment

  1. Learn the right technique:

    When you lift weights, even if they’re light dumbbells, the wrong technique could cause sprains and muscle pulls. You may not be able to afford a personal trainer or even a gym membership, but there are websites that offer tutorials and tips on the right way to work out with dumbbells. You could also learn the right way to use dumbbells from friends and family members who are workout enthusiasts.

  2. Don’t overdo the weight:

    It’s ok to be enthusiastic and eager to work your muscles, but if you start out with the heaviest ones, you’re going to end up either dropping them on your feet or spraining a muscle trying to lift more than you can. So start out with the lightest dumbbells you can find before moving on to heavier alternatives.

  3. Do the “drop set”:

    If you’re working out with heavy dumbbells and cannot complete your reps because your muscles are aching, put them down and use a lighter pair that you have at hand. This prevents wear and tear and injury on your muscles.

  4. Pick them up correctly:

    When you’re picking up the dumbbells or laying them down, don’t bend from your waist down; instead, go into a half squat and lift them using your thighs for leverage. If you use your back, you could end up with a serious injury if the dumbbells are too heavy.

Choose dumbbell exercises that you’re comfortable with and which tone and strengthen the parts of your body that need firming up. Once you’ve learned a certain set of exercises, it’s easy enough to go through them for just 30 minutes or so every day. However, remember to follow the right safety measures when performing your dumbbell workouts; keep in mind the tips to avoid injury, which could put you out of action.

This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs. She can be reached at mary.anne579(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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Kettlebell Weights – Even better than throwing ‘shit’ around…



Kettlebell Weights – Even better than throwing ‘shit’ around…

It’s a tall order to be calm and dignified all the time. Obama spooks me out for this very reason. I’m not being judgmental of the man here but he’s really chilled out. Don’t suppose he has any moments when he throws things around because he’s just pissed like normal human beings.

Almost everyone of us have been in one of these episodes where you throw and break things because you’ve just about had enough. And you can only appease that anger by destroying some thing, regardless of who valuable it might be at the time…

While there are some of you who might deny being this way, there are those who are – and it’s time that you considered using kettlebells, if only to mimic the quick “throwing movements” that come with this form of exercise.

Kettlebell Weights – Even better than throwing

Even though most people think that kettlebell weights are the latest fitness fad, nothing can be further from the truth. Actually, Russians have been using them years together now, and which was passed on to the military and their Olympians as well.

Of course, Hollywood has taken this form of training and made the most of it and the list of names goes on – Lance Armstrong, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lopez, the entire cast of “300” and the legendary Bruce Lee.

And not surprisingly, the US Secret Service and the US Navy Seals have taken it up in training as well.

But what you should keep in mind especially if you’re one of the try-anything types, this form of exercise is not for those with a strained back or shoulders or even a weak core.

One good reason for this is because it is vigorous exercise…

But for those of you who can (and should) take a shot at this type of training, you should know that you can train with these cannonball-like objects with increasing weights of 1/2 a pood (16 kg) such as 8kg, 16kg, 24kg, 32kg, 40kg and 48kg.

Just the mere mention of the word pood should tell you how rich in tradition this form of exercise really is… with its origins in Russia, of course, and yes… as old as vodka itself!

Kettlebell Weights Training: An Overview

Perhaps the best part about working with Kettlebells is that it mimics everyday movements as opposed to other workouts that you find these days. According to some people who have tried this workout, you’re done in 50 minutes or so, in comparison to those who pound away at those weights for two or three weights, way after your testosterone levels are depleted.

But what are the benefits, you might ask?

With a focus on strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training, need I say more?

If that’s not enough, the shoulders, lower back and legs get an excellent workout, thanks to even the most basic exercises such as the swing, snatch and clean & jerk which work on almost all muscles in the body.

And if you are interested, follow this link in order to know more about kettlebell exercises…

In Closing

So much for being able to throw (your) weight around… huh?

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Cardio Music – A Good Companion During Workouts?



Cardio Music – A Good Companion During Workouts?

For a while now, I’ve noticed that whenever I put on a football match or some music while writing, it seems to either help or speed up the process while not hampering quality.

In fact, football players in the United States have been known to listen to classical music while in practice sessions. As bizarre as that is, it not only helps athletes to focus and do well but also students as well as those who take exercise seriously.

Again this depends on the type of workout you choose – if it’s yoga, then the music is definitely Indian, if weights, then some rock would do just fine but if you’re into cardio, then there are digital tracks that one can obtain, and can be found in the genre of cardio music.

The Importance of workout

While anaerobic exercise is important for building strength and increasing energy which is usually built through exercises and that lasts for short bursts.

While men mostly fancy weight lifting, women enjoy a good cardio workout yet it must be said that both these types of workouts are necessary.

Almost anyone would know that cardio involves using the lungs for much longer than you would in weight training. Of course, whether you use a treadmill, stationary cycle, indoor rower or just jog in the neighborhood, this is cardio exercise and require one’s lungs to pump energy for you to last as long as you would.

And trust me, a little cardio music definitely helps in giving you that extra boost when you are exercising whether it’s cardio or even weight training, where one can use machines as well as dumbbells.

Interestingly, there’s also another form of exercise that combines both types: kettlebell weights. Yes, they combine the benefits of both cardio and weight lifting workouts.

Yet there’s nothing like using music to fuel you on when performing any of these workouts, and so let’s look at where we can find cardio music.

So,where Can One Find Cardio Music?

Of course, you can look for workout videos at your nearest store but if one looks over the internet, you will find a treasure trove of cardio music that you couldn’t even imagine.

For starters, if you don’t want to buy anything just yet, sample a few videos from Youtube. Here’s a video that I like very much… and just excellent for those who are into weight training.

Better still, you can look for articles over the internet and make a compilation of the best workout songs that will make you get up and want to put in a hard workout.

(Prior to this, I used tracks from an Israeli goa-cum-progressive trance band called Astral Projection, and workout to their music. And it worked, even though I workout at home.)

Finally, in your search over the internet, you will also find proper compilations at the various stores, like Amazon and so on and so forth. Remember to sample  some of the tracks before purchasing it… or else you’ll waste your money and have to go through the process all over again.

In Closing

So, what do you think about using cardio music in your workouts? Do you find it works? If so, feel free to share your thoughts, as to how they work as an excellent companion during your workouts.

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