Table of Contents > Alternative Modalities > Circuit training Print

Circuit training


Related terms
Author information
Free weights
Machine resistance weights
Circuit training

Related Terms
  • Adequate protein diet, Barry Sears, carbohydrate, diet, fat, low carbohydrate diet, protein.

  • The Zone diet is an unproven dietary regime, which has been popularized by Dr. Barry Sears through sales of his 1995 book, The Zone. Despite claims made in the book, there is little available research to support its overall benefit.
  • The Zone diet is a calorie-restricted diet that provides adequate protein, moderate levels of carbohydrates, essential fats and micronutrients spread through three meals and two snacks that approximately maintain the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio throughout the day.
  • Proponents believe that the Zone diet promotes optimal metabolic efficiency in the body by balancing the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin is responsible for converting, in the blood, incoming nutrients into cells. Glucagon regulates glucose in the liver. Overall, the Zone's food plan consists of a dietary intake of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.
  • Under this diet, recommended foods include fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), oatmeal (whole grain), protein powder (e.g. soybean isolate), chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, soy food, nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, macademia, pistachios), extra virgin olive oil, natural sweeteners, such as fructose or stevia.


Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

  1. Cheuvront SN. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 1999;27(4):213-228.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  3. Sears B. The Zone Diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 2000;29(4):289-294.

  • Zero Balancing is different from other types of bodywork because it focuses on both body structure and energy flow at the same time.
  • During zero balancing, the client fully dressed. With the client seated, the practitioner first evaluates the torso. Then the patient lies in a supine position on a padded table, similar to those used for massage and physical therapy. The touch used during zero balancing is called "interface," and has been described by clients as pleasing, gentle, and relaxing.
  • During a session, the practitioner works on finding places where energy fields may be obstructed or otherwise disrupted. Zero balancer practitioners pay particular attention to the skeleton, which they believe holds most of the body's energy. Their practice focuses much attention on the spine, shoulder blades, pelvis, hips, sacro-iliac joints, legs and feet, as they systematically travel up the body. After treating the upper body, the practitioner usually progresses again to the lower body for a final look.
  • Practitioners use a technique called fulcrum, which involves using the arms and hands in a specific geometry to help access energy fields and bring the skeleton and joints into balance. Clients generally feel the touch as lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, sliding, and rotating.
  • One session usually takes 30-40 minutes. Practitioners typically recommend at least three sessions, followed up with regular maintenance visits every 2-4 weeks. Zero balancing sessions range from $50 to $100 each.
  • Certification is available for healthcare professionals who complete a combination of education and practice with the Zero Balancing Health Association (ZBHA).

Free weights
  • Free weights (barbells, dumbbells, etc.) are used to strengthen both the targeted muscles and stabilizing muscles (such as the abdomen and back).
  • Technique: The stabilizing muscles help stabilize the body, support limbs and maintain posture during a lift. Therefore, lifting free weights improves coordination by improving the neuromuscular pathways that connect your muscles to the central nervous system.
  • Free weight exercises also allow lifters to mimic real life or sports-specific motions. Without the restrictive "guiding" of weight machines, the user of free weights can design an exercise that will closely mimic the real life motion that needs to be strengthened.
  • Most free weight exercises are performed in a standing position.
  • Safety: A spotter is recommended when lifting heavy weights. Complete control must be maintained when lifting heavy free weights to avoid injury to muscles and joints.
  • The concept of "momentum" is also a safety issue. When free weights are in the eccentric or return portion of the exercise, the weight has built up momentum that your muscles must overcome. This puts stress on the muscles, joints and connective tissues (tendons, ligaments). Using the proper amount of weight and establishing good technique are essential when using free weights.

Machine resistance weights
  • Machine weights are used to isolate individual muscles. Many different machines of varying quality are available for strength training of any muscle group.
  • Technique: Machine weights guide and control the path of resistance. Therefore, there is there is less danger of being trapped, pinched or otherwise injured there is less danger of being trapped, pinched or otherwise injured than there is with free weights.
  • Safety: Machine weights may be lifted safety without a spotter. Lifters must make sure the machine is properly fitted (i.e. chair height) to avoid injury. Appropriate weight and good technique are essential when lifting machine weights. Follow additional safety instructions posted on individual machines.

Circuit training
  • Circuit training generally involves a 6-10 strength exercises that are completed one after another.
  • Technique: Each exercise is performed for a specific number of repetitions or time period (usually about one minute) before moving to the next exercise. There is a brief resting period between exercises, usually about 30 seconds to one minute.
  • One circuit is the completion of all exercises. The circuit is usually repeated 2-6 times, with a 3-5 minute recover period between circuits.
  • Safety: Workouts are tailored to individuals. Circuit training can involve endurance, strength and agility workouts. Exercises should be chosen carefully and include multiple muscle groups.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Mon 8 am - 8 pm
Tue 8 am - 8 pm
Wed 8 am - 8 pm
Thu 8 am - 8 pm
Fri 8 am - 8 pm
Sat 8 am - 8 pm
Sun 9 am - 7 pm

1096 Helena Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
(406)443-5154 (fax)
Email Our Store
Driving Directions
Real Food Market & Deli Online Coupons
Healthy Living Marketplace
Now Food
Aubrey Organics
Eden Foods
Lily of the Desert
Now Food