Whether you want to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health or improve your VO2max for athletic performance, proper timing of exercise verses rest time is what will lead to real results.Circuits are made up of work (exercise) for a determined period of time, followed directly by rest or active recovery.

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For a true circuit to be successful, however, the exercises that you choose should focus on your specific training goals.

For example, if your goal is to improve strength in your legs, try adding a lunge matrix to your aerobic circuit.

For your active rest, jog in place or hop on a treadmill for one minute.

Using a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio, do the following exercises: Squats Lunges Pushups Dips V-sit twists Perform each movement for one minute and then do one minute of jogging/walking.

If you have performance goals in mind, do your Tabata circuit on a stationary bike or treadmill.

Regardless of the exercises and equipment you choose, make sure to use proper form, especially when you get tired.

This means that the work and recovery times are equal and somewhat steady state (as opposed to high intensity or vigorous).

This could mean doing a particular exercise for two minutes, and then doing active recovery for two minutes.

Active recovery could be anything from pacing slowly back and forth, slowing down the exercise you are doing, or changing to a different activity that will stabilize your heart rate.

Compared to higher-intensity circuits, exercising for a longer interval (usually one minute or more in an aerobic circuit), the intensity of the exercise decreases and the heart rate should stay lower.

Because of the increased intensity of circuit training, when fatigue starts to set in, form goes out the window and that’s when an injury might occur. Depending on the amount of time you have available and your current fitness level, choose how many rounds of your circuit to complete. After a five- to 10-minute warm-up, use an anaerobic circuit to blast away a few calories by using a 1:3 work-to-rest ratio (work for 15 seconds, rest for 45) and repeating a five-exercise circuit four times.