Start training at the gym: a circuit routine for gym novices

Well, circuit strength training has been scientifically proven to be effective for that purpose, in addition to having other additional benefits.

Benefits of training in the gym

As I mentioned in other articles, having a good physical condition is very important for our health, having shown that there is twice the risk of death due to low physical condition than overweight or obesity and that, if there was a choice, there is no doubt It is better to be overweight but to be an active person, to be thin but to be a sedentary person.

But why choose the gym if I can also exercise in my own home or in a park?

Well, it is true that we can exercise in many places and work the different muscles of our body without the need for material. But I’ll explain why the gym is a great option if you’re going to start training.

  • Variety : the gym offers us a great variety not only of machines (I can decide to use them or not and most likely other options are more functional), but also of dumbbells, bars, discs and other materials of different weights and sizes that can be of great utility ( elastic bands, balls of different weights and sizes, steps, TRX , etc.), in addition to treadmills and / or running , stationary bicycles, etc., without having to buy all this material.At home we can perform different exercises and we can choose to go for a walk or run, for example, but our options are always going to be more limited . The weather can limit us when we go out to exercise (rain, wind, cold, etc.), in addition to that at home we will not have as much variety of material with which to work as in a gym.
  • Help and advice from professionals : if the gym is adequate (that is something else), qualified professionals of the training will help you and guide you in achieving your goal, helping you in the right choice of exercises, your proper technique, taking a adequate follow-up and evaluation , etc., besides that many already include qualified nutrition professionals for those who want to combine with their training (it is advisable since adequate training + nutrition = better results).
  • Creating a habit : many people find it very difficult to exercise at home every day. The gym can be a way to “force yourself” to exercise, since many people are forced to pay a monthly fee.It is true that this sounds very bad and that the exercise should never see it as an obligation that we have to perform without wanting it. What we must do is to make ourselves aware that it is vital for our health and quality of life, and that a gym with variety to perform all kinds of exercises (guided by qualified professionals that will help us improve preventing potential risks) is undoubtedly a great option.
  • Less distractions : at home we can distract ourselves with a thousand things, such as television, telephone, computer, etc. The gym is a place to exercise, so surely we will be much more focused to do it, with the consequent better results (besides that we will have the help of qualified professionals, as I have already mentioned).
  • Socialization : of course, yes, why not. While it is true that the gym is going to train and not to be talking and wasting time, we have the opportunity to socialize and meet new people . I am the first to train hard and daily in the gym for years and have forged great friendships in him, which I continue and will continue to maintain.

By the way and that there are no doubts. I am not saying much less that we can not choose to exercise at home or elsewhere. Moreover, we can vary and there is no need to go to the gym every day. I can choose to go several days and others dedicate them to other activities in another place, or go three days to the gym and rest rest or do other things, that will depend on the tastes and availability of each person .

Circuit strength training as an ideal option

It is well known that concurrent increases in both maximal strength and aerobic capacity are associated with improvements in athletic performance as well as overall health. One of the most popular training methods used to achieve these goals is circuit strength training.

The objective of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in this year 2017 in one of the most prestigious journals, such as Sports Medicine, was to evaluate the studies that have investigated the effects of circuit-based strength training on maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and maximum repetition (1RM) in the bench press (strength of the upper body) in healthy adults between 18 and 65 years.

We analyzed 16 articles with 355 participants, evaluating the maximum oxygen consumption and the maximum repetition in the bench press both before and after the training program.

Significant increases in maximal oxygen consumption and maximum repetition in the bench press were observed after circuit-based strength training.

In addition, significant differences were found in maximum oxygen consumption and maximum repetition in the bench press according to the type of strength training in circuit and the characteristics of the subjects .

That is, the results showed that, regardless of the type of training in circuit, this training modality is effective to increase the maximum oxygen consumption and the maximum repetition in the bench press in healthy adults, although its greater or lesser effect will be conditioned by the characteristics of said training and of the subjects (individualization).

For greater effects on maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), the program should include between 14 and 30 sessions distributed in 6-12 weeks, with each session lasting at least 20-30 minutes, at intensities between 60% and 90 % of the maximum repetition.

For greater increases in the maximum repetition (1RM) in the bench press, the data indicate that the intensity should be around 30-60% of the maximum repetition, with sessions lasting at least 22.5-60 minutes.

The person’s lower level of physical fitness may explain the lighter optimal loads used in circuit training studies in which greater strength gains were reported. As we already know, at a lower level of physical condition, almost any exercise program will improve all the components of physical condition.

Therefore, circuit strength training should be the first option for people who seek health through exercise, both for its benefits and its variety and, above all, the adherence it causes (much more enjoyable and less dull and boring that a routine divided by muscle groups, in which every day I train a single muscle group or two, for example).

A circuit strength routine for gym novices

This is simply an example of routine (basic) circuit strength training. There are many more, since the options of choice of exercises, order of realization of them, rest times, etc., are endless, and it will be the qualified professional in training who will choose the best options according to the characteristics of the person . First of all, individualization.

Therefore, the realization of this training routine should be supervised by a qualified professional in the subject , because surely before its realization should learn the correct performance of the exercises (appropriate technique), which will be mostly multi-joint ( greater benefits) and some realized unilaterally (more functional, in addition to improving bilateral deficits and bodily asymmetries and involving more the work of the core).

  • Exercises and execution order:

1st exercise: squat (always with a proper technique, the depth of it will vary depending on the level).

2nd exercise: rowing in TRX (greater or lesser inclination depending on the level).

3rd exercise: front plate (greater or less inclination of the body depending on the level) If I can not stand a front plate parallel to the ground, I can support forearms on a bench = higher inclination, less hard).

4th exercise: dead weight (without any weight, just practice it with a good execution technique, as I learn I can put dumbbells and / or a bar with discs).

5th exercise: unilateral pectoral press with dumbbell on a flat bench (weight of the dumbbells depending on the level).

6th exercise: press pallof (load chosen in pulley depending on the level).

7th exercise: hip thrust ( hip elevations on the floor).

8th exercise: unilateral row with dumbbell (horizontal position, hand and opposite knee resting on the bench, weight of the dumbbell chosen according to the level).

  • Series and repetitions: 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions ( 3×8-12) of each exercise without reaching muscle failure , that is, I can actually continue doing repetitions but I stop before, so I will choose a load and / or a variety of the exercise with which I can complete more of the proposed repetitions, although I will only perform around the 10 repetitions.
  • Rest between exercises: 20 seconds.

We will make three laps to the circuit. I do not have to perform the three sets of squat and then the three rows of rowing in TRX and so on, but I will perform a series of squat and then move to the row in TRX, and so on until completing the eight exercises and starting another round.

I repeat, it’s just an example of a circuit strength training routine. There are many variants and it is advisable that before doing it I supervise a qualified trainer to teach me the correct execution of the different exercises and I will correct possible errors.

Improve our health and quality of life. Get motivated and start training!

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