Circuit training is a method of resistance and cardio training, targeting the entire body that maximizes the volume of work done in a short period of time. Usually in around 45 minutes. Circuit training is ideal for people who are interested in losing weight while promoting lean muscle gains and improving overall fitness.
Circuit training eliminates common excuses that people use for not exercising because it takes little time, is action packed, does not need to be done everyday, is fun, is suited to ALL fitness levels and it can be personalized.
Circuit Training Basics
Circuit training consists of performing multiple exercises on multiple body parts in a row with little rest in between exertions. There is a focus on targeting multiple muscle groups for each exercise to maximize results. There are usually 12 – 15 exercise stations that are a variation of strength, cardio and core exercises and each exercise is performed for 45 seconds before moving onto the next one. Each full circuit takes about 10 minutes to complete at which time everybody rests for 1 minute before repeating the circuit. The routine is usually completed 4 times for a 45 minute session and participants can burn up to 1000 calories during this time.
The amount of weight that a person lifts during a circuit training session can vary between sets. A person can start with light weights and work up to heavier weights (increasing pyramid) or can start with heavy weights and regress to lighter weights (decreasing pyramid).
Circuit Training Benefits
Due to the constant movement and varying exercises involved, exercisers maintain elevated heart rates for the entire period of exercise. The combination of weight training and increased cardiovascular effort makes circuit training a beneficial type of cross training. The exerciser gains muscle through the resistance training. The exerciser increases his/her cardiovascular endurance during the slightly elevated heart rate that is maintained in between sets and throughout the overall program. The exerciser burns high amounts of calories during the high exertion periods of his/her sets.
Circuit training is also a convenient way to exercise. It maximizes the total exercise volume (number of sets, repetitions, and amount of weight) completed in a period of time. Exercises are completed in a row, and therefore, the time spent exercising is condensed. Separate cardiovascular training is not necessary. All body parts are trained in one session, and therefore, exercisers do not need to work out everyday.
Long Run Benefits
Circuit training is a type of interval training. Interval training is a great way to increase the body’s ability to burn calories when it is at rest. The exerciser’s heart rate goes up very high, returns to a lower, but still elevated, state, and then goes up very high again. At no point during circuit training does the heart rate return to its resting rate. Circuit training, and interval training overall, increases the amount of oxygen that a person consumes post exercise, and therefore, increases the number of calories that a person burns throughout the day. Most importantly, there is virtually no restriction on any level of fitness when it comes to circuit training and is therefore suited to pretty much anyone.