Why I love circuit training and why you should love it too !!!
Metabolic Circuit Training (MCT) also know as Metabolic Resistance
Training (MRT) is an optimal way to train in order to round out your
strength training program. It is a common
term thrown around but many don't fully understand what it really means
or ever WHY they do it. I can personally tell you that adding in MRT
ito your training program, you will see faster results as well as create
a more balanced physique.
I personally LOVE circuits. Its the
cornerstone of my physique and it helps me balance out my muscles and
create overall fullness in weaker areas of my body. BUT what exactly is
MRT and what does it do to your body?? Let me explain. Metabolic
resistance training is a form of metabolic conditioning. It uses the 3
exercise pathways in our bodies to condition the muscles and turn your
body into a fat burning machine. Metabolic conditioning is excellent for
fat loss and overall conditioning of the body. It's a full total body
functioning workout that leaves your body in a fat burning state 24-48
hours post workout.
A few examples of how you can set up a circuit are as follows:
-Tabata: 20 seconds of hard work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8
total rounds. This is only 4 minutes of work, but be warned....its a
hard 4 minutes
-30 On/30 Off: 30 seconds of hard work, followed by 30 seconds of rest for 6 total rounds
-Circuits: Perform 3-6 exercises in a row with minimal to no rest
between sets. These exercises should follow a logical pattern and should
include elements of pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging, and carrying
One common thought is that circuit training, MRT and
strength training are interchangeable terms. They are not however. The
primary goal of MRT is to increase the efficiency of one of three
metabolic pathways used in energy metabolism. The three pathways are :
Creatine Phosphate Pathway: Also referred to as the Immediate Pathway,
this energy system is responsible for providing short (less than 10
seconds) bursts of energy.
Glycolytic Pathway: Also referred
to as the Intermediate Pathway, this energy system provides the energy
required for short, intense activities lasting the one to four minutes.
Aerobic Pathway: Also referred to as the Long-Duration Pathway, this
metabolic pathway provides the energy required for longer-duration
exercises of moderate-intensity work.
The rest period
determines the intensity of the workout an which pathway is used.
Strength training and MRT are not interchangeable. The goals of MRT is
to condition the body using various exercises and equipment that tax the
body in short bouts while allowing enough recovery time to catch your
breath and continue. Using heavy weights to tax the muscles is not the
goal but using moderate weights for maximal capacity is the preferred
method. MRT circuits are set up systematiclly with a goal in mind. They
are not just random exercises thrown together but set up in a complex
fashion to reap the benefits of a full body program. IF you are looking
for strength gains, using a traditional bodybuilding programming would
be ideal for you.
How do you know if this type of training is
for you? Ask yourself the goals you are trying to achieve. Then make
sure that your goals align with your training and nutrition. The results
you desire are based upon training and nutrition. Here are a few basic
guidelines to follow:
1.)You need to ensure that you are eating
enough calories to support your intense training, The more muscle you
have, the higher your metabolism, so don’t sacrifice your lean mass for a
smaller number on the scale!
2.) You should plan your strength
workouts for 3-4 days out of the week and supplement MRT training 2-3
times a week. MRT is meant to enhance your strength program and not
3.) Find activities that you enjoy doing and keep
your body moving around. You don't want to compromise your lifting
efforts by burning muscle away doing cardiovascular training long
Be sure to add in some MRT training to enhance your
strength training program. I promise that you will see amazing results
and you will find a new way of training that challenges you!!!