Right now, I am doing circuit training which is similar training to that of the cast of the Spartan movie 300. They include tire flips, box jumps, dips, jump squats and weighted push ups. I also like to lift weights. My question is should I lift weights on the off days between my circuit training workouts or on the same day? Will I be giving my body enough time to recuperate or will I put myself at risk for overtraining?,
If there’s one thing I remember feeling after watching the movie “300”, it would be the urge to do endless situps until my abs were as ripped as the 6-pack on King Leonidas’ midsection. Have you taken a closer look at the half-naked actors’ midsections? Some of them seem to have spray painted abs. Well, whether spray painted or genuine midsection visuals have been used, I say “300” is one entertaining and inspiring movie.
Now, to answer your question. To lift or not to lift weights during your off days from circuit training depends upon your fitness level and what type of gainer are you. If you have been working out for two to three years, then you are already beyond the beginner’s level. In terms of muscle gains, are you a hard gainer or an easy gainer? To answer this, you would need to know your own body type.
Is your body type leaning on the chubby side? Then you are an endomorph. If you have high levels of body fat and has been working out or lifting weights for less than a year, and you have already experienced a significant amount of fat loss within that time frame, then I suggest not lifting weights during your off days. Instead of lifting weights, try a thirty to forty-five minute treadmill run or any type of cardio workout. Rest after your cardio workout and don’t do any more lifting or any circuit training exercise during your off day. Most endomorphs are hard gainers and their main fitness goal should be to lose body fat.
Now, if you are a mesomorph, you can try lifting weights during your off days but make sure to closely monitor how you feel during the week. Mesomorphs already have a good muscular structure. They have the genetics designed for easily putting on muscle. The Spartan 300 workout and training suits mesomorphs very well. If you already have good muscular structure to begin with and you have already gained muscle mass because of your regular workouts, then you may lift weights during your off days. But since you have already been doing the Spartan 300 workout and training on the other days, you might want to tone down the weights a bit on small muscle groups like the biceps, triceps and traps since they are already being targeted during your “300” style circuit training workouts.
As mentioned above, you should always listen to your body and gauge your level of soreness and energy levels to make sure to avoid overtraining. If you feel tired and your legs are sore the day after your Spartan 300 workouts, then don’t do a heavy leg day of weight workouts. Let your muscles recover completely and then hit them again.
If you want to include specific Spartan 300 exercises on the same day of weight training, then you might also want to break them up. For example, on your leg day (weight training), you might finish off with box jumps and jump squats to completely tax your legs. Breaking up your Spartan 300 workouts into muscle specific workouts will allow you to combine weight training with your Spartan 300 exercises.
Now for ectomorphs. Ectomorphs are basically skinny hardgainer types who are super lean but have a hard time putting on muscle mass. Like the endomorphs, ectomorphs are also hard gainers, but with less body fat. If you are an ectomorph, then I would say yes to lifting weights on your off days in order to get in the maximum amount of training to overload your muscles and force them to grow and get stronger. For ectomorphs, your diet and total daily calories are critical to gaining lean muscle and packing on body weight. You simply need to eat and eat a lot! You should be eating at least 5-6 meals per day and make sure to include a lean protein source in each meal. Don’t be afraid of fat either since it’s a super easy way to get additional calories quickly into your diet. Try adding healthy fats like all natural peanut butter to your protein shakes and olive oil to your vegetables. By increasing your calories each week, you will prime your body for muscle growth and be closer to reaching the jacked physique of a Spartan. Go Sparta!