Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Pro Circuit Exercise Program

One of the most effective tools I have found to keep the business
athlete at the top of his or her form is consistent and correct exer-
cise, especially if combined with proper nutrition and stress manage-
ment techniques. Beginning and maintaining an exercise program
can be very difficult for the man or woman on the fast track who has
very little time. That is why I have developed the Pro Circuit, a work-
out that combines both strength and core training with cardiovascu-
lar conditioning.
The beauty of this program is that you can start it at any age and
at any level of fitness and make it as challenging as you want. The Pro
Circuit is designed to give you maximum benefits for a minimum
time investment—thirty to forty-five minutes, three times a week—in
as few as eight to twelve weeks. Where you go from there is up to you.
The sky is, literally, the limit. I have seen clients in this program lose
body fat, gain lean muscle, trim their waistlines, increase their
energy levels, improve their health, and learn how to manage their
stress successfully. Furthermore, this program is so user-friendly that
you will want to make it a permanent part of your routine. You can
use any type of selectorized equipment at home or on the road. It’s
the Pro Circuit philosophy that counts.
Creating the Program
I put the finishing touches on the Pro Circuit Exercise Program
when I offered it as a pilot program for the New Orleans Police
Department. I noticed right away that the workout programs used by
most police officers, both male and female, did not match up to
their job descriptions. Most of the officers were heavily involved in
strength training, and quite a few in power lifting. Overall, when we
tested them, they were overweight, had a high percentage of body
fat, and significantly elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Since police officers spend their time alternating between sitting
in the squad car or behind a desk and then engaging in great bursts
of activity when they are called to a crime scene, I could see that they
needed a workout program that had a significant aerobic compo-
nent to provide recovery between events. They were moving from
machine to machine in the gym, but they weren’t elevating their
heart rates over a long enough period of time to ensure aerobic fit-
ness. So they lacked physical endurance, which was often necessary
in successfully chasing criminals and physically overcoming and
arresting them once they were caught. One forty-one-year-old police
officer told me that his greatest fear was having his weapon taken
from him by a younger criminal during a struggle following a long
chase. He knew that, as a rule, younger criminals were faster, leaner,
and less winded than he was at the end of a long pursuit.
I had the officers do the Pro Circuit for thirty minutes a day,
three times a week, for twelve weeks—giving them general nutritional
guidelines. All of the men and women in the program reported
weight loss, much greater energy, an increase in lean muscle per-
centage, drops in cholesterol and triglycerides, more confidence in
their ability to successfully manage the physically challenging com-
ponents of their jobs, and noticeable reduction in levels of stress.
Lieutenant Eddie Selby: Amazed by His
Fitness Improvements
Since fifty-one-year-old Lieutenant Eddie Selby began doing the Pro
Circuit his weight has remained at 175, but his body fat has dropped
to an amazing 7 percent. His waistline is thirty-three inches, his stress
level has decreased, and his performance on the job has greatly
improved. What Lieutenant Selby appreciates most about the pro-
gram is the level of aerobic conditioning he’s been able to achieve.
Like many police officers, he used to concentrate exclusively on
strength training. That made him strong, but it did little for his
endurance. “We deal with criminals on the street that are constantly
running from us. Or they decide that they want to get into a fight
with us. If you’re in good cardiovascular condition, you’re going to
be able to outlast them.”
Lieutenant Selby is impressed not only with the results he has
achieved on the Pro Circuit, but also with the results he has seen in
his fellow officers. “One guy lost a hundred pounds. Everybody’s
triglycerides dropped down. Their body fat dropped, and they
started changing from fat to muscle. All of a sudden your clothes
start fitting better and you look and feel better. I love clothes and I
love dressing well. I know that people form their first opinion of you
based on what they see.”
With the Pro Circuit Lieutenant Selby doesn’t find it difficult to
maintain high energy levels, cardiovascular health, and a lean
appearance. “The program is very simple. It works wonders.”
The Pro Circuit: A Program for
Busy Professionals
I designed the Pro Circuit Exercise Program to provide a workout
for busy professionals who may not have more than thirty to forty-
five minutes to work out in the gym. When time is short, people often
have to choose between the two exercise modes—aerobic (exercises
such as jogging, walking, riding a stationary bike, or step classes) and
resistance (strength training with free weights or machines). If they
choose to do primarily aerobic training, their overall cardiovascular
fitness can increase by as much as 30 percent and their weight loss
will be enhanced, but they will not experience a significant increase
in strength and muscle mass. If they choose to spend their limited
time doing primarily resistance training, their cardio fitness will not
significantly increase, and they will likely lose only about a quarter
pound of scale weight per week, even though they will get stronger.
Combine Two Superior Workouts in One
With the Pro Circuit Exercise Program, you no longer have to choose
between one mode of exercise or the other because this program is
two superior workouts in one. You will be building your cardiovascu-
lar (endurance) capacity while substantially increasing your muscle
strength and increasing your overall flexibility. The Pro Circuit will
lower your resting heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, increase
your metabolism, and substantially reduce abdominal body fat.
You do not need any special equipment to do the Pro Circuit.
You only need a gym or a fitness center that provides selectorized
weight training stations (machines where you can adjust the weight
by placing a pin in the appropriate slot). Ideally, you should have
between ten and fourteen machines that will allow you to alternate
between your upper torso, the core area (abdominals, lower back,
and hips), lower body, and aerobic stations such as a jogging plat-
form, a stationary bike, a treadmill, or a jump rope.
You will be working for just thirty seconds on each machine, per-
forming twelve to twenty repetitions of an exercise, alternating
between upper body, the core area, and lower body. To start, I sug-
gest twelve repetitions for the upper body, twenty for the midbody,
and fifteen for the lower body, but you may increase your reps as
your fitness level increases. In between each of these exercises you
will do some kind of aerobic activity. For example, you might do
twelve repetitions of a chest press, take five or ten seconds to move to
a stationary bike or pick up a jump rope, then pump or jump vigor-
ously for thirty seconds. Then you will take another five to ten sec-
onds to move on to an abdominal machine, from there to an aerobic
station, from there to a leg press, and so on until you have completed
a full circuit of ten to fourteen machines.
Achieve peripheral heart conditioning. Alternating between the
upper body and the lower body gives you peripheral heart condition-
ing because you are constantly forcing the blood between these two
areas, which improves circulation. By working different parts of the
body and resting others, you also avoid the buildup of fatigue and
lactic acid in any particular muscle group. While one part of the
body is working, the other parts are resting.
How long does a circuit take? Depending on the number of exer-
cises in the circuit, for the average person, each complete Pro Cir-
cuit will take about eleven to seventeen minutes, including the ten
seconds of transition time between machines. As your conditioning
improves, you can gradually add exercise stations and/or complete
circuits until you reach your desired fitness level. For best results,
you’ll want to perform this workout three days a week for thirty to
forty-five minutes, with one day off of rest in between. On your days
off you can engage in at least thirty minutes of cardiovascular train-
ing, such as bicycling, walking, or running if you wish. Forty-five min-
utes within your appropriate heart rate zone would be preferable if
you are carrying extra abdominal fat.
What Results Can You Expect?
A program very similar to the Pro Circuit was tested at the Institute
for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas, on a group of men and
women who were rated as being in average physical condition when
they began the study. These individuals worked out for approxi-
mately thirty minutes, three days a week for twelve weeks. They
achieved dramatic gains in aerobic capacity and strength and sub-
stantial reduction in body fat:
• People experienced significant improvement in their aerobic capacity,
17 percent in the men and 17 percent in the women. This 15 to 25
percent increase was similar to that reported from running-
only programs without the negative impact to knees and ankles.
And running doesn’t provide the bonus benefit of increased
strength and flexibility.
• Both men and women achieved a 17 percent increase in upper body
strength. The men achieved a 21 percent increase in lower body
strength and the women a 26 percent increase.
• The men lost an average of 17 percent body fat and the women lost
11 percent. Since losing unwanted fat is the goal of most exer-
cise programs, this type of exercise program is ideal for that
The Pro Circuit: Dramatic Results in a
Variety of Settings
I have used the Pro Circuit Exercise Program in a variety of settings
with excellent results each time. Let me share with you some stories
about the people whom this system has helped.
I began developing the Pro Circuit back in the days when I was
preparing Riddick Bowe for a boxing match with Jorge Luis Gonzalez.
The sport of boxing requires tremendous physical strength coupled
with short periods of great stamina and endurance. Yet at the time the
accepted method of coaching boxers was almost exclusively aerobic in

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