Short circuit

Tips for physical conditioning with circuit training

So you want to get in better cardiovascular shape—and maybe tone up a little, too—but find slogging on a treadmill dreadfully boring. As an alternative, consider circuit training, an exercise format that increases your heart rate, strengthens your muscles, and keeps your mind engaged. Here’s the trick: Move through eight to 10 different exercises quickly, with little to no rest between sets. Each set should last 30 seconds to three minutes, and you should allow a total of 20 to 30 minutes. Create the circuit that works for you—beginners should pace themselves as necessary, and if you want more of a challenge, switch between stations more quickly or up the weight or intensity. If you get bored with your circuit, change the exercises, sequence or setting. For instance, instead of working out at the gym, hit the trails in Bidwell Park and alternate between running, walking, push-ups and squats.