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A treadmill provides the cardio exercise component of circuit training.
A desire to lose fat can lead you through the doors of your gym, but the exercises you choose to pursue will determine whether you'll meet your fat-loss goal or fall short. Bodybuilding and circuit training each contribute to a healthy, strong body, but the benefits you'll get from a circuit training workout can lead to fat loss faster than strength-training exercises.
Seek a Deficit to Burn Fat
Being able to successfully burn fat depends on your ability to reach a caloric deficit, when the number of calories you burn is higher than those you consume. Reaching this deficit begins the process of fat loss and, provided you keep your body in this state, you'll lose fat steadily. Your diet plays a role in helping you reach this state, but the calories you burn during exercise are also vitally important.
The Difference in Caloric Burn
When evaluating whether an exercise is effective for fat loss, always consider the rate at which it burns calories. Building your body through weight training is among the slowest ways you can burn calories, notes Harvard Health Publications. The organization reports that a 155-pound person burns about 112 calories in a half-hour weight-training session and about 298 calories performing circuit training for the same length of time.
A Vast Number of Benefits
Circuit training is effective for weight loss because it combines the benefits of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Many forms of cardio result in a rapid caloric burn, while strength training can lead to a higher metabolism to contribute positively to fat loss. A circuit training workout doesn't have to be long; by devoting just 30 minutes to the workout, you'll often burn more calories than during longer forms of moderate exercise. The ever-changing nature of circuit training can also prevent workout boredom.
Mix It Up
The options for creating a circuit-training workout are nearly endless. The constant, however, has to be a blend of cardio and strength training. This form of fitness is suitable at the gym, at home or even in a park. At the gym, exercise machines and free weights provide the necessary equipment, while a home- or park-based workout can include cardio exercises such as jogging and jumping jacks and body-weight exercises such as crunches, pullups and pushups. An effective pattern is to devote 60 seconds to each form of exercise. For example, after warming up, run for 60 seconds, perform crunches for 60 seconds, run for 60 seconds and perform pullups for 60 seconds. Repeat this pattern, incorporating various exercises and ensure you're working all your major muscles during the strength-training component.