THE BLOG
03/10/2014 05:08 pm ET Updated May 10, 2014

Circuit Training: Why You Should Stop Running on the Treadmill Right Now

I have been experimenting a bit at the gym with boot camp-style workouts. Recently I have been researching the benefits of boot camp, which is essentially a circuit-based training program. Circuit training programs typically consists of a series of strength training or cardio exercises performed back to back with minimal rest. What I have found is that studies show circuit training has been proven to be just as beneficial as traditional cardiovascular exercise for improving fitness levels AND can result in higher post-exercise metabolic rate and strength level! Can't beat that! Performing circuit-based workouts typically take less time than traditional cardiovascular exercise or strength-based exercise since there is minimal rest between exercises; this also means that the heart rate stays elevated throughout the duration of the workout. Circuits also tend to involve multiple muscle groups, which tradition cardiovascular machines cannot achieve, meaning muscle strength is elevated (which means more calories burned!). Personally, I love circuit training because it's fun and dynamic. I really hate doing cardio on the treadmill or elliptical and constantly staring at the clock... and circuits really mix it up and make the time fly!

Boot camp workouts typically combine strength and cardiovascular exercises to really work the entire body. Yesterday, I did the following workout and it kicked my butt without running on the treadmill or using a ton of weights. I was in and out of the gym in about 45 minutes (which included the little photo shoot!) and absolutely drenched in sweat. I even left a super attractive sweat puddle on the floor where I was planking. This boot camp is written in a "peripheral heart action" style, meaning it alternates upper and lower body exercises, distributing blood flow between the upper and lower extremities, which could lead to improved circulation. It's also just super challenging.

I love mixing it up with body weight circuits like this one. Lifting is my first fitness love, but sometimes quick and dirty workouts like this are just what I need to recharge my exercising batteries. I am super sore today, which is an awesome feeling.

Boot Camp Workout: Complete each exercise in the circuit 8-12 times.

Circuit #1: Complete 5 rounds, rest 30 seconds between rounds.

Resistance Band Squat and Press
Skaters
Walkouts
Box Jumps
Plank 30s

Circuit #2: Complete 3 rounds, rest 30 seconds between rounds

Kettlebell swings
Spiderman Push-ups
Battle Ropes 30s (switching between 2 arms and alternating arms).

PHOTO GALLERIES
Boot Camp Workout: why you should stop running on the treadmill right now

Photo Credit: Flex and Shout Fitness