Circuit Training: Get More From Your Workout in Less Time

June 4, 2018

If you are a fitness lover, you know that you have many workout options. You can work out with weights, do HIIT, run, swim or try a range of other activities to keep you fit. However, another amazing workout option would be circuit training. Circuit training involves a series of bodyweight or resistance exercises performed one after another. The duration of each exercise can last anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and then it is followed by another exercise. The complete workout length is fairly short and you will experience far more benefits than you would get from any other exercise routine.

 

Now you surely want to know more about circuit training? No worries, just keep reading since this article will explain all the benefits circuit training has, determining if it’s something you would want to add to your workout schedule.

 

Work Out on a Tight Schedule

Saving time while working out is almost impossible these days. However, luckily circuit training is there to save the day. This type of training is perfect for the busy individuals who are looking to train their whole body in just one workout. With the right formation a circuit session can easily run through 3 to 4 sets per muscle group for a total workout time of just 30-40 minutes. With the correct compound movements and exercise order, you could even cut your workout time to as little as 10 minutes for the whole body! The advantage of this type of training is, that even if you get to the gym once per week you will still stimulate all muscle groups for that week. Get to the gym once a week with a conventional “split” program and you would only work one muscle group.

 

Combine Strength and Endurance

Spice things up by incorporating both cardiovascular exercises along strength training movements. The added cardio stations will boost your heart rate tremendously, and the strength movements will maintain the higher heart rate for a longer period of time. In the end this will lead to a greater amount of calories burned (1).

 

Full Body Workout

With circuit training you are able to use a variety of exercises to target specific muscle groups. This myriad of movements will keep your workouts interesting through the fast paced nature of changing exercises. The advantage of using the whole body in the same workout also optimizes caloric expenditure (calorie output or calorie consumption). And finally the total body stimulation will also boost metabolism, creating the so called “after burn effect” for hours after the workout (exercise post oxygen consumption) (2).

 

Skyrocket Your Metabolism

Circuit training will push your metabolic rate into overdrive by sustaining a higher heart rate throughout your workout routine, stimulating new muscular development post training. The micro tears induced by the circuit training stimulate the need to repair the damaged tissue, leading to a higher muscle mass and therefore a boost in the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

 

 

Never Get Bored Working Out

The real beauty of circuit training is its versatility. You have the option to mix up your circuit training with numerous exercises for each muscle group every time you get bored. For example, one week you could do lunges for your leg station and then the next week switch them to squats. The week after move forward to jump squats, and so on. There is truly no limit to your workout creativity.

 

Summary

In the end, we can only conclude that circuit training has numerous benefits that can boost your progression towards the best health and fitness goals. It is best used for people who:

 

  • Don’t have much time to workout

  • Are trying to lose weight

  • Are getting bored with their current training routine

  • Are training for a particular sport or event

 

Here are also some example workout routines that you can start using right away and really feel those circuit training benefits!

 

Workout Routine Example 1

Bench press: 12 reps

Barbell bicep curls: 15 reps

Barbell rows: 12 reps

Incline dumbbell chest press: 15 reps

Standing dumbbell bicep curls: 12 reps

Lat pulldowns: 15 reps

 

*Do 2-4 circuits in total

 

Workout Routine Example 2

Squat: 12 reps

Dumbbell side lateral raises: 15 reps

Skull crushers: 12 reps

Lunges: 15 reps

Upright row: 12 reps

Dips: 15 reps

 

 

*Do 2-4 circuits in total

 

Perform each exercise without any rest between each one until the whole circuit is complete. Rest approximately 1-3 minutes after each circuit.

 

And there you go, now you have all the necessary information to experience the best workout benefits of your life.

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5376588/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685083/

 

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