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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

7-Minute Weight Loss Circuit

I recently read a summary of a very interesting study regarding energy level and quality of life in women. In the study, healthy sedentary women (average age around 57) were put into one of four groups. Three groups did exercise at varying levels of intensity, from light exercise (The amount of time spent exercising ranged from just over one hour weekly in the light intensity group to three hours weekly in the high intensity group.) The fourth group was a control group - they didn't begin an exercise program.

The result? While the groups doing more exercise lost the most weight, all three exercising groups showed marked increases in vitality, and reported improved quality of life in mental, social, and physical respects. What can we learn from this? You don't need a long intense gym workout to gain the psychological benefits of exercise. And when it comes to mood and staying on track with your weight loss plans, even a short, light workout may be all it takes to keep your momentum up.

As I've mentioned before, missing one workout can often lead to two or three missed workouts, and it can be difficult to stay on track. But if you are pressed for time, having a short workout that you can do at home may be what it takes to help you make it to the gym the next day.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a short weight loss circuit designed by Craig Ballantyne, the author of Turbulence Training and a frequent contributor to Men's Health Magazine.

7-Minute Weight Loss Circuit

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS


One thing we have to lose from our workout mindsets is the idea of this "60-minute workout". Forget about spending that much time in the gym. Instead, choose better exercises that are more efficient. This will allow you to get your workout done faster, eliminating the "no time" workout excuse.

To do so, you need to eliminate irrelevant exercises. I know you want to do an exercise for shoulders, and one for arms, and one for abs, and one for this and that. But before you do, ask yourself, will these really get me to my goal, or have I just been convinced by bodybuilding magazines that I need 40 sets per workout to get results?

Now, taking those lessons, we can then create some pretty incredible bodyweight workouts as well. And these bodyweight workouts can get finished fast!

In fact, here is a 7-minute bodyweight circuit that can help you lose weight, burn calories, and blast your metabolism. You don't need machines or weights. You can do this anywhere!

Bodyweight squat (10-20 reps)
Pushup (10-20 reps) - do it on your knees if you must
Reverse Lunge (10 reps per leg)
Plank (30 second hold)
Close-grip Pushup (10-20 reps)
Side Plank (20 second hold per side)
Mountain Climber (10 reps per side)

Do this with no rest between exercises. Rest 1 minute at the end of the 7-minute circuit and repeat up to 3 times.

If you are a beginner, do fewer reps and take longer rests.

It's a tough, tough bodyweight circuit, especially the combination of two exercises late in the circuit. This combo literally exhausted me to my knees...twice...before I was able to finish the circuit.You can do the circuit up to 3 times.

Another weapon in your fat loss arsenal. Now you'll know how to train efficiently and eat effectively for fat loss.

Don't wait any longer to get started! Get all of these bodyweight exercises, and more, in the Turbulence Training workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. No more annoying drives to the gym, waiting in line for machines in an uncomfortable environment, or being intimidated by the super-buff gym bunnies. Lose fat, get fit, and workout your way - at home with only a bench, a ball, and dumbbells.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com.

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