Monday, August 6, 2012

One-on-One with Catherine Piot
   by Bob Wells, CPT, PES

Today we’re spending some time with Catherine Piot, devoted family woman, celebrity trainer, gymnastics coach, nutritionist, and author of the “Transforming Your Body after 40”. You wear a lot of hats and you certainly have a lot on your plate. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise. 

Thank you. I am excited about the opportunity to share with your readers.

Courtesy : Catherine Piot
You are the owner and founder of the Catherine Piot institute. What is it that you do?

At the Catherine Piot institute, we provide athletic coaching, private fitness training, boot camps, weight training, group fitness classes, weight loss programs and nutrition education. We are a one stop shop for all of your fitness needs.

Now, that it’s summer, so many people are more concerned with how they look and how they are going to lose weight. Some experts say it’s best to do cardio, others advocate for traditional weight training. What’s your take on the best way to loss weight?

I am a big believer of circuit training. It is one of my top recommendations for a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. It’s also a great way to tone and firm your body at the same time.

Can you briefly describe what circuit training is?

Circuit training involves doing several selected exercises with no rest in between. You only get a quick break when you finish the routine. You can repeat 2-3 times before moving on to the next circuit.

So, what’s the difference circuit training, cardio training, and weight training?

Circuit training can be seen as a combination of both traditional weight training and cardio training. You can include the same kinds of exercises that you typically do with free weights or barbells, but with a lighter weight than you would normally use. For example, if you normally do dumbbell squats with 50 pounds, you use 25 pounds for circuits. 

You can also include cardio movements like rope jumping, jumps and sprints that make your workout much more intense. You can usually finish a workout in 45 minutes or less. 

Your circuits can be as long as you want, but since this is an intense workout, 2-4 exercises will be enough. You can repeat each circuit 3-5 times before moving on to the next circuit. Alternatively, you can do one circuit 5-6 times.

That sounds pretty intense!

It is, and that's the beauty of circuit training. Its high intensity, which includes short, intensive aerobic kinds of exercises, is very effective for fat loss. In other words, you burn fat faster than with any other workout. 

Okay, take us through a circuit training workout that you or your clients would do.

OK, grab a pair of dumbbells and a jump rope. It's time to rock and roll! For our first circuit, we're going to do push-ups, high knees, shoulder presses, and jump rope. 

Each exercise is to be done for 30 seconds, completing as many repetitions as possible. If you are really struggling, then cut the time for each exercise down to 20 seconds. Once you have completed the entire circuit, take a brief break (90s - 2mins), and then repeat the circuit two more times.

For the second circuit, we're going to do dumbbell squats, jumping jacks, alternating reverse lunges, and jump squats.

Complete the second circuit the same way as the first.

Catherine Piot post-circuit / Courtesy Catherine Piot Institute

If I do circuit training, does that mean that I can I skip all other cardio?

By no means am I suggesting that you eliminate more traditional forms of cardio / fat loss exercises like treadmills, stair masters, or elliptical machines. However, circuit training offers more bang for your buck, especially when you have a limited amount of time to workout. 

Let's get started now and transform your body!

Ms. Piot has over 20 years experience working in the field of sports, and is the founder and owner of the Catherine Piot Institute. She has helped people, from athletes to lawyers, achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. For more information, or to contact her, go to


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