What is circuit training?
Circuit training is a mix of strength training and endurance training. In a circuit-training workout you do a group, or circuit, of exercises with little or no rest in-between. Usually, one circuit consists of 8 to 20 exercises. Each exercise is performed for a set number of repetitions or period of time before moving to the next exercise. For example, you might do squats for 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and then do bench presses for another 15 seconds followed by other exercises. Depending on your fitness level, you might do one circuit or several circuits during each workout.
What are the benefits of circuit training?
You can exercise different muscle groups to get a total-body workout.
You can build strength and endurance.
You can burn calories and lose weight.
It is good for people who have little time to exercise. Workouts can be completed in as little as 10 minutes.
You can do circuit training at home or at a gym.
What is so special about circuit training?
You are less likely to become bored with your workout routine since you are doing different exercises.
You can make your workouts as hard or as easy as you like by changing the amount of effort and the length of the rest interval.
Circuit Training has been shown to decrease body fat by 3% and maintain or increase lean muscle mass.
What are some tips and precautions?
See your health care provider before getting started.
Begin each workout with a 5 minute warm-up of light calisthenics stretches, such as jogging in place or jumping jacks.
After your workout, cool down with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching.
Listen to your body and stop if you develop any joint or muscle pain that does not go away after finishing an exercise.
Give your body a rest. Because circuit training can be intense, avoid working out 2 days in a row.
Start slowly. Initially you might need a longer rest between each exercise. After you begin to get in better shape you shorten your rest periods.
For a more difficult workout, you can replace your rest interval with aerobic exercise, such as jogging in place.
Every several weeks modify the exercises in your circuit, or complete different circuits in one workout.
If you use exercise equipment, be sure you are trained in how to use it right.
What are some examples of circuit training workouts?
Here are two examples of circuit training workouts. The first workout can be done at home and the other can be done at the gym:
Circuit-training workout #1
Warm-up (fast walking) - 5 minutes
jumping jacks - 2 minutes
push ups - 1 minute
jogging - 5 minutes
abdominal crunches- 2 minutes
squats - 1 minute
pull-ups - 1 minute
lunges - 30 seconds each leg
Circuit-training workout #2
Warm-up (treadmill walking) 5 minutes
leg press machine - 15 reps
lat pull down machine - 15 reps
jogging on treadmill - 5 minutes
squats with dumbbells - 15 reps
military press - 15 reps
bicep curls - 15 reps
hamstring curls - 15 reps
abdominal crunches - 30 reps
cycling on stationary bike - 5 minutes