Today’s Ultimate Transformation Moment is a response to questions posed by my clients regarding weight lifting. One of the biggest dilemmas in their fitness journey is how to incorporate weight training into a workout and maintain their cardio, particularly, since there are limited opportunities to train during an already heavily scheduled day.

Most people believe that the best way to lose weight is by using cardio workouts as the main form of exercise. However, weight training will also increase metabolism and continue weight loss.

Additionally, it will tone, shape and strengthen the muscle, which offers additional benefits.

One way to incorporate cardio and weight training is through “circuit training.” Circuit training is a work out that incorporates a variety of exercises–from six to 10–into the designated workout time frame. Sometimes I go extreme with some of my clients, and we go 15 exercises.

As an example, a circuit that uses only four exercises may incorporate the squat, straight leg dead lift, bend over row, and military press. These exercises will focus on working the following areas: The lower body, the back, and the shoulders and would be incorporated as follows: The circuit focuses on moving through these exercises with either timed repetition or an actual number of repetitions, i.e., either squat for 15-30 seconds at a time, or begin with 20 squats at each repetition. Once the first set of squats is complete, move immediately to the next exercise.

No rest is taken in between exercises in a “cycle.” Immediately begin the next exercise, which works a different muscle group. Work the next exercise for 15, 20, or 30 seconds until you complete all of the various exercises. After completing a set of each exercise, the first cycle is complete and now it is time for a rest. After a brief rest, the exercises are repeated in the next cycle. This is a circuit.

Initially, a beginner may want to start by completing a specified number of reps instead of the timed reps. In this case, at every position (if moving from station to station) or every exercise, complete 10 reps; 10 squats, 10 straight leg dead lifts, 10 bend over rows, 10 military presses.

Moving from station to station without rest will provide considerable cardio vascular work. To increase the cardio considerably, make a couple of the stations in the circuit, cardio exercises such as jumping jacks, jump squats, running in place, jumping rope, or burpies.

Now you have a cardio work being paired with strength conditioning, which provides simultaneous benefits. Together they will burn a significant amount of calories.

Finally, from a nutritional point of view, follow this workout with clean protein, and thoroughly hydrate with water, fruits and vegetables. This type of workout is very strenuous. A day of rest should be taken in between, so don’t do a circuit workout everyday. The day between may include a slow walk just to recuperate. You will notice a tremendous difference in a short period of time.
That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment. Peace and be more.
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Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page with Dominique DiPrima.” As the founder of Collegiate Search Youth Organization, Erich has been assisting youth in the community for more than 20 years.