WHAT IS CIRCUIT TRAINING?
Circuit training is a method in which a person will perform several different lifts in rapid succession, usually performed on numerous machines or simply with bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups. This form of training is great for building muscular endurance, improving cardiovascular health, and since it is a high intensity form of training, it also has incredible implications for fat loss. Almost anyone can benefit from circuit training, but as always, I suggest consulting with your medical professional before beginning any high intensity training regimen. With that said, I’d like to talk about an amazing tool that can be used anywhere you exercise, be it a gym, a park, or even your own living room.
The options for circuit training are endless. Many gyms have full circuit training rooms set up with machines, wall timers for interval tracking, and visual aids that indicate where to go next. However, as with any fitness program, your imagination is the limit when it comes to circuit training. While some may enjoy the structured feel of a gym, others may enjoy a more natural approach in a park using their gyms in the jungle. Regardless of how you choose to train, I’m sure resistance bands will find a place in your gym bag, and here’s why:
Versatility – Bands can be used alone or in conjunction with free weights. They can be used not only to add tension to exercises, but also to aid in exercises by acting as a trampoline or trampoline, to aid in a troublesome lift such as a pull-up. Not to mention, with several different sized bands packed in a duffel bag, you can literally toss them in your trunk and head over to a friend’s house for a group circuit training session. The bands are also great for all ages, skill levels, or fitness goals – from yoga to weightlifting, resistance bands have their place!
Variety: the spice of life. Maybe you get the same grueling workout every day, or maybe you’re tired of driving to your gym during rush hour after a long day at work. Well why not mix it up with bands? Again, your imagination is the trainer – exercise bands are simply one tool that you can use to keep your sports life interesting and progressive.
Inexpensive – Consider what you’ll spend over the next 6 months on your gym membership. Monthly rate plus taxes, annual upgrade fees (I bet they have one), and maybe even an annual contract can add up in a jiffy. You can most likely outfit your workout arsenal with a set of quality resistance bands for a cheaper price than a 3-5 month gym membership.
Strength: From “toning” (which is basically a comfortable word for building muscle that you can see) to lifting weights, everyone wants a more muscular physique. Unless you’re a marathon runner or a lingerie model, chances are you prefer a little “meat” on the bones. But let’s face it: there is only one meat and the other is only fat. Resistance bands and strength bands have also been described for reasons that several studies have shown. Adding resistance bands to your routine, along with a solid weight training regimen, has been shown to dramatically increase muscle mass compared to free weights alone.
PURCHASING OF RESISTANCE BANDS
Here are some key points to consider once you decide if resistance bands are right for you:
- WARRANTY – Several manufacturers have a lifetime warranty, and for good reason. Most resistance bands are made from surgical grade tubing, which is very stretchy and very strong, but on the off chance that it breaks, being able to replace them free of charge is amazing.
- EFFICIENCY – Circuit trainers understand the need to be able to switch quickly from exercise to exercise, which is why most gyms with circuit rooms have everything set up in a circle for quick transitions. Look for resistance bands with carabiners or some kind of quick disconnect for accessories like handles, door anchors, or ankles. This will allow you to add or subtract more and / or heavier bands depending on the exercises.
- ATTACHED FILES – As mentioned in “Efficiency”, attachments are crucial. Bands are great, but a single tension band with an integrated handle has far fewer options than a handle with the ability to attach multi-size bands at once. In addition, the removable cuffs make the exercises for the legs and the core very comfortable and natural. Lastly, a simple door anchor can open up a wide range of possible new exercises.
I hope the information found in this article has helped you in some way and has at least made you an informed buyer when shopping for fitness equipment. However, I encourage you to keep investigating: the Internet is full of videos, articles, etc. that can give you a great idea of the possibilities that resistance bands offer.
Written by Jonathan Hakun