High–Resistance Circuit Training Fast Way to Build Strength

It’s widely believed that circuit training – performing a series of exercises with little-to-no-rest in between – is not optimal for building strength. Thanks to a study from Spain, however, it may be time to re-evaluate that theory.

Typically, athletes train at submaximal weights for a set number of repetitions or time (e.g., 8-12 reps or 30 total seconds). It’s been proven that moderate weight-circuit training builds cardiovascular endurance, functional capacity and strength while improving body composition. But when Pedro Alcaraz and colleagues from Spain looked at another aspect of circuit training, they found something slightly different.

The researchers found that circuit training using heavy weights was just as effective for increasing strength as a traditional high-intensity weight-training program. They used experienced weight trainers in subjects and were able to finish the workouts substantially faster than standard weight training. Improved strength means the ability to lift heavier weights which, in turn, leads to bigger muscles.

If you’re looking to get in and out of the gym faster or simply switch up your training but still want to build muscle and strength, performing high-resistance circuit training can be a good alternative to your normal workout.
 

CHEST CIRCUIT

Perform 4 rounds of the following circuit, resting for one minute only after completing all exercises in the circuit. Perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise.
Exercises
Incline Dumbbell Press
Clapping Pushup
Incline Dumbbell Flye
Dips

 

ARMS CIRCUIT

Perform 4 rounds of the following circuit, resting for one minute only after completing all exercises in the circuit. Perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise.
Exercises
Barbell Curl
Lying EZ Bar Triceps Extension
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Single-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rope Hammer Curl
Rope Cable Pressdown

Source: Journal Strength Conditioning Research, published online

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