Long, slow, boring aerobic exercise may get all the glory in the media. But you can get a lot more bang for your fitness buck with circuit training.

Brazilian researchers assigned subjects to a 12-week program of either cardio or total-body circuit training. Both groups exercised for 35 minutes three times per week. At the end of the study, both groups had increased their aerobic fitness by four percent. In addition, both groups had increased their leg strength by six percent. However, only the circuit-training group experienced benefits such as increased their upper-body strength too.

Even if you’re a beginner, your best bet for maximum gains is a total-body circuit-training program: strength training done with short rest periods between exercises. This is especially true if the amount of time you can commit to a workout program is limited.

[[Ed. Note: Fitness expert Craig Ballantyne is the creator of the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss system. For a free online source of information, motivation, and social support to help you improve your health, lose weight, and get fit, sign up for ETR’s free natural health e-letter.]

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com