Biggest Loser: Full-Body Circuit Training Workout
by Joy Owens
FLORENCE, S.C. – For people who do not have a lot of time in the gym, circuit training can be a great workout to use, because it alternates aerobic exercise with resistance training exercises.
The full-body circuit workout provided below was created for people who are new to working out, but this can be modified to fit any fitness level.
If you do not have access to all of the cardio machines listed, you can use the same machines multiple times or walk laps.
Before starting the circuit, make sure to warm the body up for 5 to 10 minutes by performing dynamic stretches that involve the legs, arms and back muscles or by using your preferred cardio machine.
>> Aerobic exercise: Three minutes on a treadmill.
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of bench press (suggested weight: 10- to 12-pound weighted bar). This exercise will work the chest muscles and should only be done if you have someone with you that can be your spotter. Start lying on your back on a flat bench. Your pelvis should be neutral with your feet flat on either side of the bench. If you have back pain or cannot maintain proper spine alignment, place your feet on the bench. Your hands will have a wide grip on the bar, and the elbows will be bent to create about a 90-degree angle. To perform one repetition, you will use the shoulders and elbows to lower the bar down to chest height and then press it back up to the starting position. Inhale as you move the bar down, and exhale as your press the bar up. Make sure the wrists stay in a neutral position, and do not roll backward or forward as you move the bar.
>> Aerobic exercise: Three minutes on an elliptical.
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of seated high row (suggested weight: 12 pounds). This exercise will target the upper back and needs to be performed on a cable machine. Sit on the bench with a neutral spinal and feet flat on the footholds. Grab the handles with the palms facing down and the elbows extended. Exhale as you pull the handles toward you and inhale as you slowly extend the arms back to the starting position. This is one repetition. Make sure you contract your abs, maintain a neutral spine, keep your shoulders down and maintain neutral wrists as your perform this movement.
>> Aerobic exercise: Three minutes on a stationary bicycle .
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of seated lateral pull-downs (suggested weight: 30-35 pounds). This exercise will target the mid-back and needs to be performed on a cable machine. Sit on the bench with the hips flexed and the head and neck in a neutral position. Reach up to grab the overhead bar with a wide grip and position the elbows so they are pointing out to either side. To perform one repetition, pull the bar down in front of your head, close to the sternum and then slowly straighten the arms to return the bar to the starting position. Exhale as you pull the bar down and inhale as you let the bar rise up.
>> Aerobic exercise: three minutes on an arc trainer.
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of front raises (suggested weight: 5 pounds). This exercise will target the shoulders. Start standing with the feet hip-width apart and the knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing in and the elbows extended. Keep the shoulders down and abs contracted as you exhale to move your hands up to shoulder height and inhale as you move the hands back down to the starting position. This is one repetition. You can lift both hands simultaneously or you can lift one hand at a time.
>> Aerobic exercise: Three minutes on a row machine.
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of bicep curls (suggested weight: 10 pounds). This exercise will work the biceps. Start in a standing position with the feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. The shoulders should be back and down and the neck and spine should be in a neutral position. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing forward and the arms straight. Exhale as you bend the elbows to bring the hands toward your chest and inhale as you move the hands back down to the starting position. This is one repetition. During the movement, make sure the abs are contracted and the wrists remain straight and do not bend forward or backward.
>> Aerobic exercise: three minutes on a lateral X machine.
>> Resistance training: 12 to 14 repetitions of tricep kick backs (suggested weight: 10 pounds). This exercise will work the triceps. Start bent over with one knee and one hand on a flat bench and the other foot flat on the ground. The free arm will have a dumbbell in hand, and the elbow will be pointing back, as it is bent at 90 degrees. Keep the head, neck and spine in a neutral position and contract the abs. Exhale as you extend the forearm back and up and inhale as you return the arm to the starting position. This is one repetition.
After completing the workout, help the body cool down by performing a variety of static stretches that target each muscle group that was worked during the circuit.
Joy Owens received her personal training certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America in March 2016. She played volleyball through her years at school and also played tennis and swam for a local team. Joy has been a member of the McLeod Health & Fitness Center for six years where she rediscovered her passion for fitness. She has been a trainer at the center since October 2016. Her favorite workouts include yoga and strength training. This is her second year as a trainer for Florence’s Biggest Loser.