If you're quick to admit that you don't have a creative bone in your body, following the exact same exercise plan every day might be just your speed. But day after day of monotony can quickly become tedious enough that you might start skipping gym time to dive into a latte at the nearest coffee shop. Circuit training is one way to keep your workouts engaging and help you reach different goals. Combining cycling with dumbbell training blends fat-shredding cardio with muscle-building weight training.
Ride a stationary bicycle for a specific length of time or distance. Cycling is a common way to help meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommended 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week and burn calories to help you lose fat or maintain a healthy body. The amount of time you spend on the bike depends on such factors as your fitness level and available workout time. For example, try cycling at an up-tempo pace for 10 minutes.
Rest for two to three minutes after finishing the cycling circuit to allow you to catch your breath and get ready for the dumbbell circuit.
Lift the dumbbells in any manner you wish to focus on specific muscles. Because cycling is a workout for your lower body, target your arm muscles during the dumbbell exercises. Common exercises include biceps curls and triceps extensions. Choose a specific number of reps for each exercise, such as 10 reps for each arm. The weight you choose depends on your body type and weight-training goals. To tone your arms, use a lighter weight and more reps; to bulk up, use a heavier weight and fewer reps.
Perform a biceps curl by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging at your sides and your palms facing your torso. Bend your arms, one at the time, at the elbow to raise the dumbbell to the height of your shoulder. As you curl the dumbbell, rotate your arm so that your palm faces your shoulder, and then lower the weight to the starting position before repeating the exercise with the other arm and alternating between arms. Complete 10 reps with each hand.
Target your triceps by holding a dumbbell high above your head with both hands. Use a heart-shaped grip on the inside of the upper weight plate by spreading your hands to balance the weight of the dumbbell. In doing so, the space between your hands will roughly resemble a heart. Bend your arms together and lower the dumbbell to the back of your neck and then straighten your arms to return the weight to its starting position. Complete 10 reps.
Rest for two to three minutes after completing the dumbbell circuit and begin the circuit training again by riding the stationary bicycle. The amount of time you devote to each cycling circuit is arbitrary. If you have enough time set aside for your workout, try 10- or 15-minute intervals.
- Devote time to stretching your muscles before and after your circuit training. Use dynamic stretches before the workout and static stretches during your cooldown.
- It's possible to ride a traditional bike for bike and weight circuit training, but access to a stationary bike makes the workout simpler.
- Consult a doctor before attempting a new type of workout regimen.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.