Burn Body Fat with Circuit Training

Burn Body Fat with Circuit Training

Treadmills are BORING! Learn a new way to burn fat.

If you’re sick and tired of spending countless hours on the treadmill and the elliptical machine, we’ve got good news for you: you can burn body fat with circuit training – a much more fun and active alternative. According to a new research study, you can burn just as much fat by doing an intense circuit weight training session in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet. Aerobic training has been strongly recommended as an efficient way of improving overall health and losing weight. Resistance exercise has traditionally been considered to have lower calorie burning output compared to aerobic activity. However, resistance exercise with a high number of repetitions and short rest periods between sets can result in a considerable increase in calories burned. For example, one study examined the impact of either free weights, machines, or interval training (i.e., resistance exercise with short bouts of intense cardio). The study wanted to determine which protocol burns more calories, comparing the sessions of same duration and intensity.

At the end of the study, the interval training program resulted in the most significant energy expenditure and a lesser degree of effort. Specifically, the one-hour interval session had an average caloric expenditure of 259 calories (311 calories in males and 203 calories in females), followed by a free-weight training program, which resulted in 203 calories burned, and the 173 calories of machine training program. This suggests that interval training can be a useful method to increase calorie burning. This is not the only study to suggest that using short rest periods will enhance fat loss. A 2011 study compared the effects of eight weeks of high-resistance circuit training (3-6 sets of six exercises, six repetition maximum, ∼35-second rests between sets) and traditional strength training (3-6 sets of six exercises, six repetition maximum, three-minute rest periods between sets) on physical performance parameters and body composition. Training consisted of weight lifting three times a week for eight weeks. At the end of the eight-week study, both groups had increases in lean muscle mass, but only the circuit weight training group had significant decreases in body fat percentage. Additionally, training promoted a similar strength-mass adaptation as traditional training while using a shorter training session duration.

New research has found it’s easier to burn body fat with circuit training, as opposed to those boring cardio workouts. Researchers published these exciting findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The researchers divided older women aged into two groups and studies over a six-month period.

– One group cycled 40 minutes three times a week, with an intensity of 60-65 percent of the maximum rate of oxygen consumption.
– The other did 40 minutes of circuit training three times a week. The circuit training consisted of six exercises for the chest, back, arms, and legs. The women perfomed three sets of each exercise, using a relatively lightweight (30 percent of the weight with which just one rep was possible.)

At the end of the study, both groups had identical reductions in body fat, and also similar improvements in health parameters (i.e., blood pressure).  This suggests that you can burn body fat with circuit training, and it can be a great alternative to cardio workouts. If you’re tired of doing the same boring cardio, then mix it up and add some circuit training to burn body fat.

Henríquez S, Monsalves-Alvarez M, Jimenez T, Barrera G, Hirsch S, de la Maza MP, Leiva L, Rodriguez JM, Silva C, Bunout D. Effects of Two Training Modalities  on Body Fat and Insulin Resistance in Postmenopausal Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Nov;31(11):2955-2964.

Benito, P.J.; Álvarez-Sánchez, M.; Díaz, V.; Morencos, E.; Peinado, A.B.; Cupeiro, R.; Maffulli, N. (PRONAF Study Group). Cardiovascular Fitness and Energy Expenditure Response  during a Combined Aerobic and Circuit Weight Training Protocol. PLOS ONE 11 (11)