Lifting weights and properly resting between sets > endless rounds of circuit training/cardio bursts.
Many times I find myself having to instruct the client to REST between sets.
Women, especially, are so used to performing one exercise then jumping in place then running up the stairs then going back to doing another exercise, so that they FEEL exhausted at the end of a workout.
But, the truth is, exhaustion =/= progression.
I love incorporating supersets with clients, as well as fillers between sets ( mobility/ core work), but I always make it a point to prescribe an actual resting period (1-3 mins) so that the client can improve with time (more reps/ more weight / more sets/ improved technique and so on).
Especially if you have physique oriented goals, you need to focus on improvement, not complete exhaustion.
If you want to exhaust yourself, jump up and down for 15 mins. Don’t hire a trainer for that.
So, here are the reasons why I don’t promote high intensity style workouts:
1- Whenever I did these types of workouts, I felt like I was hit by a bus afterwards. I couldn’t track my performance because the workouts weren’t systematic. The goal was always to burn more calories and do endless amount of repetitions.
2- My hunger was out of control, so I ate a lot more. That didn’t support my aesthetics goals;)
3- My form would break down easily due to the high intensity, high fatigue, cardiovascular nature of the workout itself.
Only when I started focusing more on my diet and less on ‘ burning as many calories as I possibly can’ during a workout is when I finally leaned out.
If your goal to to tone up and build muscle, you’re better off following a strength training program, get strong in the main lifts, and sprinkle in isolation exercises as needed.
You’re not necessarily going to sweat a ton, and that’s ok. Your goal isn’t to burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time.
Your goal is to add quality mass (Tone) to your frame, by focusing on performing better each workout.
Let your strength training routine build the muscle.
Let your diet burn the fat.
Sprinkle cardiovascular exercise as needed.