Integrated Circuit Training for Fitness and Fat Loss – Fitness Volt

Training can take a long time. This is especially true if you’re pursuing several different training goals at the same time, such as improving your cardiovascular fitness while building muscle and losing fat.

If you have multiple goals, you’ll likely need to do several different types of workouts each week. For example, you can alternate cardio with strength exercises.

Needless to say, such an approach can be time consuming.

Some people are lucky enough to have plenty of time to train. Others aren’t so lucky, and hitting the gym for about an hour six times a week is simply impossible.

Despite their best intentions, many athletes end up missing more workouts than they complete, which will seriously undermine any progress.

The good news is that there is a way to develop multiple components of fitness at the same time – integrated circuit training. Integrated circuit training combines multiple exercise elements to provide a faster workout.

In this article, we’ll tell you why and how to do integrated circuit training and provide some sample workouts to try.

What is Integrated Circuit Training?

Integrated circuit training, or ICT for short, is high-intensity training that combines cardio intervals with resistance training. ICT workouts are brief but challenging and can be modified for all fitness levels.

ICT workouts will:

  • Improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness
  • Burn calories and fat
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • To build up muscle
  • Increase work capacity
  • Win time

The concept of ICT is quite simple. Workouts are divided into rounds, and each round begins with a high-intensity sprint. After the sprint, you immediately do a series of resistance exercises before taking a short rest. This sequence is then repeated several times.

Each round should take 2-4 minutes, so a full ICT workout should be completed and done in 20-30 minutes.

For instance:

  1. Treadmill sprint – 30 seconds
  2. Shoes x15
  3. pull-ups x10
  4. Goblet Squats x20
  5. Rest 1-2 minutes and repeat three more times

For best results, transitions between exercises should be as short as possible. The exercises themselves should be compound in nature. Compound exercises train multiple muscles simultaneously to keep your heart rate up and get the most out of your time.

In terms of exercise order, it’s best to avoid doing similar exercises back to back, such as push-ups followed by shoulder presses. Residual fatigue will make the second exercise more difficult and limit your performance of this movement. Instead, it is better to use different exercises, for example, pushing, pulling, legs.

The number of post-sprint exercises depends on your physical condition. Beginners should stick to relatively low reps of just 2-3 exercises, while more experienced users should do 4-6 moves for higher reps.

The ICT is easy to modify depending on your fitness level and the equipment you have. You can even do ICT without equipment and using only your body weight.

However you use this flexible and effective training system, it can help you develop a high level of fitness in record time, making it ideal for time-pressed athletes.

Related: The 12 Best Assault Bike Workouts

Integrated Circuit Workouts

Integrated circuit training is pretty straightforward, so you should have no problem creating your own ICT workouts. But to save you the trouble, here are EIGHT of our favorite ICT workouts.

Do them as written or feel free to modify them based on your current fitness level and the equipment you have.

But, before doing any of these workouts, spend a few minutes warming up and preparing your muscles and joints for what you’re about to do. Start with five minutes of easy cardio followed by dynamic flexibility and mobility exercises for your major joints.

Please note: Timings and reps/sets are for illustration purposes only. Feel free to increase or decrease according to your physical condition. Additionally, you can change the sprint modality if needed. So if you don’t have an air bike, you can use a spinning bike, elliptical trainer, or other cardio machine instead. Alternatively, you can sprint outside.

ICT Workout #1 – Bodyweight Only

slots

This workout is great for those times when you need a workout but can’t make it to the gym. All you need is a little space to sprint. Alternatively, you can go up and down a staircase multiple times.

  1. Sprint 30 seconds
  2. Shoes x10
  3. Alternate lunges x 10 per leg
  4. Janda sit-up x10
  5. Squat Jumps x10
  6. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #2 – Bike and Dumbbell Workout

Bodybuilder doing bench press

Using an air bike or regular stationary bike, this low impact workout will build fitness and muscle size while shredding fat.

  1. Standing sprint 30 seconds
  2. zercher squats x8
  3. Bench Press x8
  4. pull-ups x8
  5. push press x8
  6. Leaning over the row x8
  7. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #3 – Super Short ICT Workout

This workout is ideal for home athletes who only have a few minutes to train. Even with your warm up, you should be done in 20 minutes or less.

  1. Jumping rope high knee sprint 40 seconds
  2. Freehand push-ups x15
  3. Squat Jumps x15
  4. Pleats at the knees x15
  5. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #4 – ICT Workout with Resistance Band

In many ways, resistance bands are the perfect training tool for ICT workouts. They’re lightweight and portable, so you can take them anywhere you go, and transitioning from exercise to exercise takes just seconds. Plus, resistance band exercises are very gentle on your joints, making them great for fast reps.

  1. Resistance Band Sprint 30 seconds
  2. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull Resistance Band x20
  3. Resistance band boosters x20
  4. Seated Row Resistance Band x20
  5. resistance band snap x20
  6. Curvature of resistance kneeling crackles x20
  7. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #5 – Rowing and Dumbbell Workout

Rowing machine at the gym

Rowing machines are the ideal machine for ICT training. They work all your major muscles and are low impact. This means you can do each sprint at 100% intensity while respecting your joints. Slide a pair of dumbbells onto your rowing machine for a short, precise total-body workout.

  1. rower sprint 30 seconds
  2. Clean dumbbell and press x10
  3. dumbbell thruster x10
  4. row of renegades x 10 per arm
  5. Dumbbell deficit push-ups x 15
  6. Squats with dumbbells x20
  7. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

TIC Workout #6 – Power Workout

Tabata Assault Bike

This training is ideal for athletes. Each exercise is a power move that will improve explosive strength. If you want to run faster, jump higher, or punch harder, this workout is for you. Additionally, doing several power exercises in a row will increase your heart rate, improving your cardiovascular fitness.

  1. Aerial bike sprint 30 seconds
  2. Squat Jumps x10
  3. Plyo Pumps x10
  4. The medicine ball slams x10
  5. Split squat jumps x 10 per leg
  6. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #6 – Cardio and Core

kicking legs

Although ICT workouts are best when done with compound exercises, that doesn’t mean they can’t be modified to develop specific muscle groups. This one is designed to build fitness, burn fat, and sculpt your abs.

  1. Treadmill sprint 30 seconds
  2. kicking legs x 20 per leg
  3. russian twists x 10 per side
  4. Buttocks x20
  5. Back extensions x20
  6. mountaineers x 10 per leg
  7. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #7 – A Kettlebell Workout

Kettlebell swings

Kettlebells can be expensive, which is why many users only have one of a few weights. This workout assumes you have a light kettlebell and a heavy one. You will also need a jump rope or space to sprint. With such limited equipment, it’s a great home workout.

  1. Sprint 30 seconds
  2. With two hands kettlebell swing x20
  3. One Arm Overhead Press x 10 (left side)
  4. One Arm Overhead Press x 10 (right arm)
  5. One-arm bent row x 10 (left arm)
  6. One-arm bent row x 10 (right arm)
  7. Heeled Raised Goblet Squat x20
  8. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

ICT Workout #8 – Cardio Conditioning Workout

All ICT workouts are conditioning workouts because by doing multiple exercises back to back, your heart rate and breathing rate stay elevated throughout. However, this one is a little more cardio oriented, which makes it ideal for anyone who specifically wants to improve their fitness and burn more calories.

  1. rower sprint 45 seconds
  2. Step-ups x 10 per leg
  3. Jump jacks x20
  4. Double unders x20
  5. box jumps x20
  6. burpees x10
  7. Rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times

Integrated Circuits Training – Recap

Lack of time is a legitimate obstacle to training. Time is a precious commodity and sometimes lack of time can make it impossible to fit a long workout into your already busy schedule.

Integrated circuit training (ICT) accumulates a lot of work in a relatively short time, which makes them ideal for busy athletes. In addition to being brief, ICT workouts target several different fitness components at the same time, providing even more exercise for your money.

Whether you do all ICT all the time or just use ICT as a mock workout on days when you don’t have time to train longer, it’s good to know that just 20-30 minutes of exercise enough to maintain or even improve your fitness and health.

So give ICT a try today – you’ll love it!

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