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Circuit training - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Introductions & Advice For Beginners' started by Prodigy, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Prodigy

    Prodigy Active Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I recently joined a gym that has a circuit setup (Premier Fitness's IPF (Intelligent Personal Fitness) program), and I am wondering if that is a good choice for a beginner?

    The circuit consists of 26 machines. There is aproximately 3-5 machines per bodypart, and a recommend number of reps ranging from 12 to 20 (depending on machine).

    If it helps, to provide more information, I could bring my sheet home tonight and list all the machines.

    I just want to find out whether my time would be better spent on a different program. The only thing I don't like is that they tell you to only do it 2 times a week. Ideally, I would like to go 3-4 days.

    My goal is to lose another 10 lbs and of course gain muslce (the more the better! :D ).


  2. DeafNgari

    DeafNgari Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I would say yes your time could be better spent, but if you are just starting out, doing a circuit for 4-6 weeks is (I feel) a great way to kind of get into the gym and not be overwhelmed. I would promptly not touch it after that and never look back. Of course if the task of trying to piece together (or just grab from the forums or other sites) a full workout right away isn't overwhelming, go for it. I would just advise against being too hard on your body with the weights at first. You really have to get those muscle, tendons, ligaments, etc... use to the stress. Have fun.
  3. iceweaselsarecool

    iceweaselsarecool Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Circuit training is a method I love, but what you're describing sounds sub-optimal.

    The kind I like involves doing 6-7 different lifts, and then doing 4-5 minutes of cardio in between to keep the heart rate up.

    Such as
    5min cardio warmup
    DB step-ups or split squats 3x8, 30s rest
    4 min cardio, fairly high intensity
    DB RDL 3x8
    4 min cardio
    DB curl-to press or squat to press 3x8
    4 min cardio
    DB benchpress or inclined BP 3x8
    4 min cardio
    DB upright rows or bent-over rows or lat pulldowns 3x8
    4min cardio

    You can vary the selection of lifts every week or two to keep it fresh and hit different parts differently. And you can do it 3-4x/wk.
  4. FBChick

    FBChick Active Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I actually do a circut style lifting program just to help cut time at the gym. Just can't stand sitting around 'resting' much. Though I think I agree with the others, that this one is more of a beginner style.

    What I do is a basic 4 day split (2 days upper body, 2 days lower body). I do have to preface this with the fact that my goal is more functional strength more then traditional bulking, so for me the fatigue factor is actually a good thing. I basically pick one lift for each body part and then do one set of each lift per circut. I keep only about a 30 sec rest between sets (usually the time it takes to switch machines), and then take about a 1 min break between circuts.

    Seated Row
    Front raises
    Side raises
    Lat pull down

    Leg Curls
    Ball crunches
    Back extensions

    Preacher curls
    Bent Row
    Shoulder rotations
    Tricep pulldowns

    Leg Press
    Split squats
    Hang leg raise

    Every so often I change up lifts, but other then that I've been doing my lifting this way for about the past 3.5 months and still see pretty steady progress on all the lifts.
  5. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2005
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    Circuit training is great for cutting. Highish reps, short rests. However, machine circuits I would avoid personally.

    Barbells and dumbbells are what I'd use instead of their machines. However, as DeafNgari said, doing it for a short time with their stuff wouldn't kill you and might get you primed to start using real weights :)

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