Circuit training is fast becoming a very popular way to train, due to Its many benefits. Have you noticed the number of circuit training based gyms that are opening up everywhere?
Does your gym offer circuit training classes or a dedicated circuit training area?
Circuit training is defined as moving quickly from one exercise apparatus to another and completing a prescribed number of exercises or time on each apparatus.
Circuit training keeps the pulse high and promotes overall fitness by working all muscle groups as well as the heart and lungs.
The rise in popularity of circuit training is primarily because it is a one-stop exercise session, giving you a total body workout. People like the convenience factor of getting a great strength training workout while also gaining cardiovascular fitness.
Typically, circuit training programs have between six and twelve stations focusing on total body conditioning. A complete workout consists of two to three sets of each circuit. Depending on the program, you may be required to complete a specific number of exercises or for a specified period of time. The break between the sets is shorts, usually 15 to 30 seconds. However, any individual can vary the circuit training program to ensure it meets their fitness needs. Here’s how you can alter a circuit training program:
• Vary the number of circuits performed.
• Increase or decrease the length of intervals between circuits
• Change the time spent at each station.
• Vary the intensity and speed that you perform each activity.
• Change the rest period or eliminate it all together.
Circuit training is a great, diverse way to improve your overall fitness level, even if you are already doing traditional weight training. Here’s a brief listing of the benefits of circuit training.
• Circuit training allows people of all fitness levels to work together. If you have a partner that you would like to exercise with, but your fitness levels are very different, circuit training allows you to work together. The great thing is that you work at your own fitness level and pace at each activity. Circuit training can be an excellent way to spend time and improve your health alongside your partner.
• Circuit training helps you develop good basic strength and body tone. For people not interested in bulking up significantly, circuit training can be key because you can do lower weight for more repetitions. In addition, circuit training exercises tend to use more than one muscle group at a time. These exercises can give you quicker results than spending time on one piece of gym equipment focusing on one set of muscles.
• Circuit training gives you a cardiovascular workout as well. If you practice traditional bodybuilding, then you allow your heart rate to recover during the rest period between your weight lifting exercises. Another benefit of circuit training is its ability to provide cardiovascular exercise because your heart rate remains elevated and sustained above a resting level throughout the workout. Circuit training promotes cardiovascular improvements and can eliminate the need to complete a separate cardio workout.
• Circuit training can improve your fat loss. Due to the cardio benefits of circuit training, it provides more fat and calorie burning than traditional weight lifting programs1,2. This benefit of circuit training means that more work is performed in less time resulting in greater caloric expenditure during the workout3. In addition, you are increasing your lean muscle mass, which means you are improving your metabolism and burning more fat throughout the day.
• Excellent off season workout for seasonal athletes. If you play a seasonal sport like hockey or soccer, circuit training can help you stay in shape during the off season. Circuit training is a great way to maintain your general fitness and improve you strength while you prepare for the next season.
• Circuit training can help you build muscle in conjunction with traditional bodybuilding. Since you have fewer rest periods in circuit training, men actually increase the amount of testosterone they release, which helps build muscle. In addition, circuit training programs tend to be around sixty minutes, which means you avoid the cortisol releasing process. Cortisol release occurs when testosterone levels drop (typically during extensive cardio exercise like running a lengthy race and the cortisol can start to breakdown muscle tissues).
I encourage you to discover the benefits of circuit training by trying it. You might be surprised by the intensity of the workout and the great overall benefits for your body. Remember it gives you the maximum workout in the minimum time!
All the best,
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.