What is circuit training?
Circuit training is a high intensity workout that helps to build strength while offering cardiovascular benefits. It involves choosing 6-8 different exercises and doing them in a circuit with very little rest time in-between. Most circuits involve both weight and cardio exercises, and work most major muscle groups in the body.
What are the benefits of circuit training?
Circuit training workouts burn more calories due to the increased physical effort and limited rest periods. Typically in a circuit your heart rate will be elevated for a longer period of time and you will work more muscle groups during your workout. Research has shown that those who engage in circuits expend more energy, thus burning more calories, and will see a greater improvement in their cardiovascular fitness than those who simply lift weights.
How to do circuit training:
- Choose 6-8 different exercises: The best combination would be 3-4 exercises that use free weights or machines, and 3-4 cardio exercises.
- Alternate between strength-training and cardio: Stay on each machine or exercise for 30 to 60 seconds before moving on.
- Warm up: Begin the circuit with a short, 3-minute warm-up, and then do the exercises that work the large muscles first.
- Time: Do each strength exercises for 30-60 seconds, and each cardio exercise for 5-8 minutes.
- Repeat: Do your circuit training as many times as desired, trying to increase your repetitions as times goes on.
An example circuit training workout:
- Warm-up for 5 minutes (jumping jacks, jump rope, or jogging if you’d like) then stretch for 3-5 minutes.
- Do 30 push-ups, then 30 crunches.
- Run for 5 minutes.
- Do 20 tricep dips, and 20 side planks (10 on each side).
- Row for 5 minutes.
- Hold light weights in each hand and do 30 lunges
- Bike for 8 minutes
- Repeat as desired