posted 2012-11-21 20:43:42

The Bottom Line in Health

Making time for fitness    

Judah Schulman

Staff Witer

As a personal trainer, one of the most common questions I am asked is, “How do I lose weight around my stomach without spending hours in the gym?” No one has time to be in the gym for hours every day, and even when people do make it to the gym, the results are usually minimal. So, what can you do about the extra flab?

Many people are confused about how to lose this unwanted fat around their gut, considering the excessive number of exercise programs that guarantee weight loss. Furthermore, our lifestyles are fast- paced, full of obligations and physically draining, so how do we pick the right program, a program that fits into our schedules but still allows us to shed those undesirable pounds? How can we spend our time efficiently in the gym, so we only need to go three times a week in order to melt fat off your stomach?

Many individuals repeatedly try to stay committed to different exercise regimens, but discover that those routines are too burdensome and time-consuming. Often the programs are confusing, and people can’t give the time required to complete the entire routine. While staying in good shape should be an important part of all of our lives, we have other activities that take up our time. These undertakings can contribute as much to stress release and personal development as proper exercise can. So how do we balance the things we love to do with the things we need to do? How do we fit gym time into our agenda?

There is a common belief that isolating and exercising individual muscle groups, such as your chest and biceps, is the most effective way to burn fat while building muscle. However, this type of program is time-consuming, and of limited effectiveness. As a result, most people using these types of programs lose hope and eventually give up.
Allow me to introduce you to the elusive solution to your stomach flab dilemma: circuit training. While circuit training has been around the fitness world for quite some time, most people haven’t used it. This method of training has proven to be an effective weight loss tool, and is practiced by individuals with limited time for the gym.

So what is circuit training and why doesn’t everyone use it? Circuit training is a method of exercising that requires

an intense work ethic, but only over a short period of time. The regimen usually prescribes three to five circuits, with anywhere from four to twelve exercises in each circuit. Each exercise is typically sustained for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, although they can be as short as 8-10 seconds or as long as 5 minutes; the higher the intensity, the shorter the interval. After each circuit has been completed, the individual is rewarded with a necessary, but brief recovery period of two to four minutes. The intervals of hard work exhaust the body quickly, shortening your workout time. Unfortunately, the intensity tends to intimidate many people. One has to remember that achieving any goal of significant value requires hard work and determination. That said, one must be willing to put forth the effort in order to achieve their weight loss goal.
Circuit training has become more popular in the past few years, serving as the platform for many individuals whose goals include weight loss, muscle gain, and an improved sense of well-being. This intense style of exercise jacks up

the number of calories you burn per unit of exercise time, giving you the killer workout you want without costing you

all of your free time. Try making the switch to circuit training by incorporating one workout per week into your normal routine, and after three weeks, completely replace the rest of your exercise routine with two additional circuit workouts.

If you have more time to exercise during the week after you have completed these three workouts, try various forms of cardiorespiratory work on machines such as stairmasters, ellipticals, or stationary and recumbent bikes. In addition to these adjustments, it is equally important that you make sure that you are consuming a  healthy and balanced diet, while drinking plenty of fluids during the day to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat while building muscle. Follow these guidelines and you will trim excess fat from your waist quicker than ever before!
Warm Up:

1. 5 minutes of light cardiorespiratory exercising (for example, jumping jacks, jogging in place, low-resistance stationary biking).

Circuit Workout*:

17 minutes total

1. Kettlebell Swings

2. Plank

3. Knee Tuck Push-Ups (on stability ball)

4. DB Squat Presses

5. Twisting Side Planks 6. Renegade Rows

How to do it:

1. 30 seconds of work, using weights (where applicable, that can no longer be lifted properly after 30 seconds).

2. Rest 15 seconds between exercises.

3. Rest 1 minute after all 6 exercises have been completed once.

4. Complete 3 rounds of the circuit.

Total Workout Time: 22 minutes (5 warm-up + 17 minute workout)

*Video descriptions of all exercises can be found on YouTube.