There are so many people who go to the gym on a regular basis, but often ignore some important aspects of their training. Not sure what I mean? Let me pose this hypothetical question to you:
If you had just 30 minutes to get a workout in? What are you going to do? Cardio, or weight lifting?
For me this answer is a no-brainer. I’m running to the dumbbells to blast out a lifting session, but I know there are those who would do the complete opposite. I asked this question on the Fit Dad Revolution Facebook page (give us a LIKE by clicking HERE), and was shocked how many said they would hop onto a treadmill or stationary bike to get a quick sweat going.
This made me start to become more cognizant of my surroundings when I was in the gym, and I noticed a lot of people who I NEVER see in the weight room area. They come in, do their cardio workout, and leave.
I understand exercise is exercise, and everyone should aim to get their bodies moving at least an hour a day regardless of what particular exercise you are doing, but to answer the question which is the title of this article, “To lift, or not to lift”, the answer is to lift.
Before you start to think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t lift, injury, getting bulky, not knowing what you are doing, etc., you should also look at the benefits of weight training. Benefits like strengthening your joints, helping to prevent injury, strengthening your bones and helping to make your body stronger…just to name a few.
The benefits far outweigh the negatives, when it comes to weight training, but before you start wondering how in the world you could pass on your usual 3 mile workout on the track, what if I told you there was a way you can boost your cardiovascular training, as well as improve your overall strength with weight training?
It is called circuit training.
What is circuit training? It is simply a series of exercises which you do one after the other without any rest. Doing this will give you a cardiovascular benefit, while also working your muscles. Now, depending on your fitness goals, this type of training is good for a couple workouts a week, but not as your main way of weight training. For instance, I use circuit training two out of my four days of lifting a week.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Circuit training can be the ideal fit for someone who loves cardio, and getting their heart rate up, but doesn’t really care for weight lifting. Even the weight lifter who loves pumping iron can benefit from this style of training, getting a cardiovascular benefit to their own training.
What would a circuit training session look like? Here is an example of a very basic dumbbell circuit:
- Dumbbell Squats – 15 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Shoulder Presses – 15 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Back Lunges – 15 Reps
- Dumbbell Bent Over Rows – 15 Reps
- Dumbbell Push Ups – 15 Reps
You would hit every major muscle group in the body with this workout, and would certainly get your heart rate up! You would go from squats to presses and on down the list without rest, but after the push ups you could give yourself time to rest and recover.
Give circuit training a try, because when the question “Lift, or don’t lift” is posed, the answer should always be a resounding YES!
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