Maximize your fat burning with circuit-training workouts by altering the intensity and duration of your sessions. Circuit training is a series of mostly resistance exercises done with short rests between each exercise; the series of exercises is generally repeated for multiple rounds. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reports that regular resistance training induced a seven-percent increase in resting energy expenditure compared to aerobic-only exercise and dieting.
Full-Body Circuit-Training with Machines
Your circuits must follow a particular order to effectively train your muscles and burn fat. The first round in the circuit is always your warm-up round, using lighter weights. Do one set of each exercise, then move to the next. You should rest about 10 to 15 seconds between exercises and one minute between rounds.
Start your circuit training using weight machines, doing chest presses, lateral pull downs, triceps rope press downs, leg extensions, leg curls, shoulder presses and crunches. Use light weights and perform 12 to 15 repetitions per set for each exercise. You need to do this circuit for 60 minutes to maximize fat and calorie burning during and after the workout. You can do this circuit two days a week, with at least two days' rest between sessions.
Full-Body Circuit with Free Weights
After three weeks of using machines, use free weights for most of your exercises to burn even more fat and calories. For a full-body circuit with free-weight-only exercises, perform flat dumbbell presses, one-arm dumbbell rows, squats, dumbbell dead lifts, dumbbell biceps curls, triceps dips, lateral raises and sit-ups. Use moderate to heavy weights and complete eight to 12 reps per set for each exercise. You will burn a considerable amount of calories after this more intense workout, increasing the fat burning effect. Complete this workout twice a week with two days of rest between sessions.
Circuit Training with Resistance and Aerobic Exercises
You can also split your muscle group exercises into different sessions and add aerobic exercise into a circuit routine to maximize fat burning. When you incorporate aerobic exercise, use light weights for your weight training exercises and complete 12 to 15 reps. This style of circuit training will maximize the amount of calories and fat you burn during the workout and for 24 to 48 hours after your session.
On Mondays, do exercises for your chest and back -- chest press, lateral pull downs, 30 seconds of jumping jacks, cable flies, seated rows, 30 seconds of treadmill walking, push-ups, dumbbell rows and 30 seconds of treadmill jogging.
On Wednesdays, do exercises for your legs and shoulders -- squats, shoulder presses, 30 seconds of aerobics, leg curls, lateral raises, aerobics, lunges, front raises, aerobics, one-leg dead lifts, upright dumbbell rows and aerobics.
On Fridays, perform exercises for your biceps, triceps and abs -- EZ barbell curls, aerobics, overhead triceps rope extensions, basic crunches, cable curls, aerobics, one-arm dumbbell triceps extensions, bicycle crunches and aerobics.
- ACSM Fit Society Page; Effects of Strength Training on Resting Energy Expenditure; Wayne Westcott, Ph.D.
- Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise