|An illustration from the New York Times based on the recommended exercises|
Yup, that's it! A new study published in the Health and Fitness Journal of the American College of Sports says that this workout circuit is equivalent to going for a long run and going to the weight room all at once. Crazy!! I was always told that you must alternate days of aerobic training (e.g. running, biking, swimming) with days of resistance training (e.g. weight training, resistance bands). The above shown exercises have been chosen and must be completed in this order to maximize the results. They were chosen specifically to alternate between opposing muscle groups (upper body vs. lower body) in order to allow a brief resting period for the muscle groups. Each exercise should be repeated 15-20 times (or for approximately 30 seconds). Any more than that and you will probably be executing the exercise with less intensity and a lower heart rate and therefore reducing the effectiveness. Also, you should rest for no longer than 15 seconds between exercises to maintain that intensity and heart rate. The whole circuit can be completed in only 7 minutes!! Smart and great for lazy exercisers like me!
Basically, this is the idea behind interval training, but it was scientifically tested and tweaked to achieve just the perfect balance. The authors claim that maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) is improved with as little as 4 minutes of this training circuit, but because most people cannot maintain the highest level of intensity tested in the study, a total of 20 minutes of the circuit is recommended. That means, you might run through the whole circuit a few times (2-3 times).
Seriously, this looks like a lot of fun! I might give it a go.
Original article citation:
Klika, B. & Jordan, C. (2013). High-intensity circuit training using body weight: maximum results with minimal investment. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 17(3), 8-13.Oh, and check out this super cool infographic for interval training. This is probably one of the best infographics I have seen in a long time. It includes some great scientific information and even discusses V˙O2max if you are still curious about it. You know how much I dig infographics!!