Weight Loss Wars- Circuit Training vs. Supersets

I’ve always believed supersets are best for fat burning, but strength coach John Barban is telling me I’m wrong! John recommends “6 Minute Circuits” for women for weight loss, so I grilled him about the methods and why his way is supposedly better than mine.

Like me, John is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a varsity strength and conditioning coach (like I used to be).

John specializes in training female varsity athletes, specifically women’s ice hockey players, and has his masters in nutritional science and human physiology from the University of Guelph.

CB: John, why circuits instead of supersets or straight sets


We found multiple benefits using the the mini circuits with this workout.

For starters they target the whole body within each circuit. I designed each mini circuit to hit all of the major muscle groups in the body.

This has two effects:

1) it gets your heart rate up for the entire mini circuit which will rev up your metabolism and start burning lots of calories and fat. This style of workout eliminates the need to do long slow traditional cardio, and believe or not burns more calories than a typical cardio workout could!

2) It works all of the major muscle groups in your body so you get a whole body conditioning and toning effect in each mini circuit.

Those are just the actual physical and metabolic benefits which are fantastic.

The other major benefit is variety. The mini circuits we use are constantly changing and incorporating different exercises and variations. They are fun to do and keep the workout fresh.

This is a benefit that I was not anticipating but all the women who do this exercise always mention how much fun it is and how different it is from anything else they’ve ever done.

CB: What kind of results do your clients get?


My clients are losing weight, and more specifically fat faster than they ever have before.

I’d say that everyone who has started this program has easily accelerated their progress by weeks if not months. the pounds are coming off of my non athlete clients in record time and our athletes are going to be ready for their season way ahead of schedule.

Its doing exactly what I designed it to do; its getting everyone lean and in great cardiovascular and overall condition all at once!

CB: What type of clients do you use this with?


The 6 Minute Circuits Workout was designed from the principles I use to train all of my elite level athletes.

We started using it with the girls on the team as well as other individual athletes (I train fitness competitors, figure models, as well as individual sport players of all kinds)

It was getting them all in peak mid season shape faster than any other program we had ever used, which made me happy and the girls were excstatic.

And thats when some of my non athlete clients who saw what I was doing with the team in the gym asked what they were doing and wanted to try it…

And then it hit me, what not just train all of my clients like elite level athletes…after all the girls on the team and my other athlete clients had the type of figure that my non athlete clients were dying to get. So they naturally wanted to train just like those girls trained.

I immediately put all of my clients on this workout and the results are speaking for themselves.

All of my clients athletes, non athletes, busy working mom’s, young professionals, women who workout at home, beginners, and seasoned gym goers have all switched with great results.

CB: Where can these workouts be done?


The entire workout can be done at home.

I designed it this way on purpose. And the types of exercises that we found work best don’t require fancy gym equipment anyway, so it really doesn’t matter where you like to workout you can do this workout anywhere with minimal equipment.

A set of dumbbells (and if you don’t have dumbbells at home you could even use a couple cans of soup to start with) and a stability ball is all you really need.

A bench is nice to have, but if you workout at home and don’t have a bench you can substituite a stability ball, and if you don’t have that you can use the furniture around your house for almost every exercise that we use a bench for.

I’ve trained clients in their homes with this workout and its easy to get it done just about anywhere with almost no equipment.


Judge for yourself: Is circuit training better than supersets and intervals for weight loss?

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