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What Is Aerobic Weight Training?

Push-ups can be incorporated into an aerobic weight training program.
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  • Written By: Summer Banks
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2014
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Aerobic weight training typically involves lifting light weights at higher speeds. By definition, aerobic exercise is continuous and elevates heart rate and blood pressure. Conventional weight lifting may not offer aerobic benefits, but the aerobic type, like circuit training, does.

Circuit training may be the most popular form of aerobic weight training. Such programs are created to use several machines, or stations, and lighter weights. Users move from one station to the next, lifting weights repeatedly for a given length of time. In the United States, Curves® is one type of gym that focuses on circuit workouts.

Classic weight lifting exercises usually involve heavy weights and short times spent lifting. Each time a lifting session is complete, it is often referred to as a set. Rest periods of one to two minutes between sets are common. These breaks negate the effect of aerobic or circuit programs, in most cases. New research, however, may change how this type of weight training is performed.

Recent clinical studies have found brief periods of intense exercise, followed by rest periods, may have equal or better cardiovascular benefits for the body. According to the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, interval training burns more fat than traditional exercise. The study showed increased fat burn when participants exercised at 90% effort for four minutes, followed by a two-minute rest period. These intervals were repeated 10 times.

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Aerobic weight training has often been associated with women's fitness. In recent years, however, men have taken notice of the aerobic benefits of circuit and interval training. Bodybuilding.com, a weight-training website dedicated increasing muscle, recognizes aerobic training as a part of a successful fat-loss program.

Contrary to the name, this type of training may not involve use of weights. Some methods of circuit training utilize resistance instead of weights. Resistance can provide both positive and negative muscle burn. Positive muscle burn occurs when muscles are used to push away resistance. Negative burn results when that same resistance is held back on the return movement.

Experts suggest using aerobic weight training two to three times a week as part of a cardiovascular and weight lifting regime. If weight loss is the sole reason for working out, this routine can be performed at home or in a gym. As long as resistance exercises like squats, push-ups, or sit-ups are repeated for four-minute intervals, effects are typically the same as gym-based circuit-training sets.

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Discuss this Article

Ana1234
Post 4

@Iluviaporos - Another way people might do this is by finding a park with exercise fitness training stations around the edges. I've seen them in quite a few places. It's usually pretty simple and they will have a little sign nearby explaining how to do each exercise.

The idea is that you run around the park and stop at each place to do pull-ups or whatever. No gym pass required.

lluviaporos
Post 3

I don't think you absolutely have to have a gym for this. I haven't really thought about it as circuit training before, but I basically do this with resistance exercises at home after I go for a run.

It's probably not quite as fast paced as it might be at a gym (particularly when you know someone else is waiting for the equipment!) but it works basically the same. I adapted it from a book I found on strength training for women.

Basically it's a whole bunch of different calisthenic exercises and stretches that takes about 20 minutes and which I can do either by myself or with a wall, or at most a towel.

clintflint
Post 2

@anon330376 - I do think that aerobic weight training is good if you've only got a very short period of time to exercise, since it ticks all the boxes. But if you've got enough time to fit in a 20 minute aerobic session (like running) that will still have benefits that you probably won't get from the circuit training.

The problem with the circuit training is that it doesn't encourage sustained effort at all and, while you definitely get a lot from other kinds of training, a sustained 20-30 minutes of cardio provides benefits that aerobic weight lifting just can't give.

Mixing it up is a good thing when it comes to training.

anon330376
Post 1

This is a really good read. I will definitely be switching from aerobic training to weight training. Thanks for the information.

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