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Question
Posted by: C | 2008/01/30

Circuit vs Weights

Hi!

I've been doing weight training for about 2 years, but have stopped for about 4 months now as I was on holiday overseas. I obviously also picked up some weight...Anyway, I'm getting back into it, but I'd like to know which is better for overall toning and muscle building as well as losing a bit of weight? Don't worry, I'll be doing cardio too. But between those two, which is best?(I'm a girl). Should I maybe do the circuit 3 days a week and on alternate days do the main muscle groups like legs and back on one day; chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps on the other day using free weights/normal weight training?

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Our expert says:
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Hi C

Six of one, half a dozen of the other. There's actually little difference between them in terms of the weight training exercises you'd do - the circuit is simply a conveniently laid out weight training area. The difference, then is in the cardio that people will do between the weight machines, and usually in the number of reps and sets. That is, people in the circuit usually do higher reps, more sets, but with lighter weights. There's no reason why you couldn't do that exact same session in the weight area. But for convenience's sake, circuit is probably the way to go, since you'll get all the relevant muscle groups in, and you have the added cardio component if you make use of it.

As for how to structure it, your plan sounds fine to me, though if you do the circuit, you just run through it twice a session and you'd get all the muscle groups in. Again, given that you'll be lifting lighter weights, it doesn't make a huge differenc which you go for - so perhaps it's best to choose based on preference.

Good luck
Ross

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