Circuit Training 101

You may have already taken circuit training and found it tough or done circuit training without realizing it. It’s not a specific exercise or groups of exercises, but a format where you do one exercise, followed by a very short rest and then on to another. It’s a method of exercise that works on both muscle groups and endurance at the same time. Any types of exercises can be used for circuit training. It’s like a mini decathlon style workout in the gym that only takes a half hour to forty-five minutes.

You work at your own pace.

One of the benefits of this type of training is that you call the shots. Of course, your dedication to the workout might be questioned a bit if your rest time between exercises was five to ten minutes. It is tough to do, especially when you have a personal trainer choosing the exercises. He or she uses ones that address areas where you need the work, so they will be harder for you. Not only does circuit training build muscle and endurance, it also burns fat quickly.

It’s good for people who want to lose weight and for those who get bored easily.

HIIT—high-intensity interval training also a type of circuit training, but you only do one type of exercise. You do it a top speed for a short period, followed by a recovery period that’s about twice as long at moderate speed. Both traditional circuit training and HIIT burn calories fast because of the afterburn. Afterburn is the fact that up to 48 hours after you finish your circuit training, it continues to burn extra calories, boosting your metabolism. Since it moves fast, there’s no potential for boredom.

It can be quite like a game.

If you’ve ever watched a group playing musical chairs, you’ll see the resemblance immediately when you watch a group using circuit training. It’s extremely fast paced with people moving quickly from one station to the next. Since there’s not necessarily a specific order, they run to the station that’s open. If you have a personal trainer creating the program, he or she will watch closely to make sure that your need for speed doesn’t affect your form.

  • You don’t have use exercises that require equipment. You can do a body weight circuit that can be as effective as one using equipment. Since you can do those anywhere, you can do them at home, too.
  • Circuit training is fast paced, so you’ll get more done in a short amount of time. It can cut the time you spend in the gym.
  • Using circuit training for building muscle tissue provides benefits for your weight. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so you’ll burn more calories the more you have.
  • If you’re just starting out with a workout, make sure you have the right form before you include into circuit training. Trying to speed it up can often compromise the form, so do it slowly until it’s automatic.

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