Learn the essentials of circuit training, one of the most challenging but rewarding types of workout there is.
In this article:
- What Is Circuit Training?
- What Are the Benefits of Circuit Training?
- What Is the Best Circuit Training Workout?
- How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing 30 Minutes of Circuit Training?
- How Do You Do Circuit Training at Home?
- Can I Do Circuit Training Every Day?
- How Long Should Circuit Training Last?
Circuit Training | What You Need to Know
What Is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is a type of high-intensity training program a lot of athletes use for body conditioning and improving overall endurance. It involves about 8 to 10 exercise stations, completed with little to no rest in between each station.
Each exercise station in this type of workout involves alternating exercises that target varying muscle groups. This allows one to work out much longer without tiring the muscles.
A muscular strength and endurance circuit, for example, may alternate between the upper body muscles, the lower body muscles, and the core muscles. An aerobic and strength circuit, on the other hand, alternates between a set of resistance exercises and a set of cardiovascular exercises.
Depending on the exercise, one station typically involves 10-25 repetitions of a movement, which often lasts somewhere between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. One can complete an entire circuit in 30 minutes to an hour, again depending on the kind of program one uses.
Additionally, circuit training workouts are not limited to weightlifting exercises. Contrary to popular belief, these workouts also include other aerobic and anaerobic work.
What Are the Benefits of Circuit Training?
- Circuit training is fast-paced and high-intensity. Completing a single circuit is always a challenge and never boring.
- It is time-efficient as it shortens those gym sessions by effectively incorporating several exercises that hit different muscle groups in a single routine.
- These routines also work the entire body, causing one’s heart rate to go up while improving muscular strength at the same time.
- Circuit training improves one’s general physical preparedness (GPP). GPP is something all bodybuilders and athletes should develop as it boosts their ability to train for their goals.
- It is convenient – it can be done anywhere and with or without any equipment. One can do it at the gym and utilize the various pieces of equipment there, or on a fitness trail where all he has is his body (one can alternate between bodyweight pushups or squats and a brisk walk or run).
It is, however, not for the faint of heart. While it may not be the best type of training routine to increase muscle mass, it does go a long way in helping one’s body prepare for other workouts that do just that.
General Physical Preparedness Definition: It is one’s ability to workout harder and longer.
What Is the Best Circuit Training Workout?
There is no one specific circuit training routine that can be considered “the best.” The type of circuit training program best for a person will depend on his or her individual goals.
For those looking to get ripped, it is best to perform a circuit training program with no cardio exercises. This rapid, high-energy expenditure type of workout increases the production of growth hormones while also boosting the body’s ability to burn fat.
This differs from a person whose goal is to improve athletic performance, thus fusing strength training with conditioning exercises. This type of training prepares the body for competitions in various conditions by not only reducing body fat but also improving overall fitness levels.
An example of this type of workout is a quick 30-second sprint alternated with a 12-rep bench press, which forces the body to quickly adapt to the changing physiological conditions.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Doing 30 Minutes of Circuit Training?
An all-strength circuit can burn up to 30% more calories than the usual weightlifting workout. On average, someone who weighs 150 pounds and completes a one-hour circuit training session burns about 756 calories.
Of course, different factors can contribute to the number of calories one burns in a single circuit. The weight lifted, the types of exercise done, and the intensity in which one completes the circuit determine how many calories the person burns.
How Do You Do Circuit Training at Home?
Admittedly, doing circuit training at home can be quite challenging in comparison to doing it at the gym.
First, a lot of the necessary equipment – whether it be free weights or cardio and isolation machines – are readily available at the gym. This, however, does not mean one can’t do circuit training elsewhere.
Doing circuit training at home is simply a matter of planning and being resourceful. Make sure to have a certain station per exercise in mind before starting.
Cardiovascular exercises can include running up and down the stairs, jogging in place, running around the driveway, or even using a piece of simple equipment like a jumping rope. On the other hand, doing push-ups, planks, and other exercises that use one’s own body weight serves as strength exercises.
If available, use of dumbbells, kettlebells, or bands can also help.
Can I Do Circuit Training Every Day?
No. As with anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad.
Circuit training workouts are high-intensity workouts. They put a lot of strain on numerous muscles of the body.
As such, experts do not recommend doing circuit training every day. As much as possible, allow the body at least a day of rest before doing another session of vigorous workout.
At most, one should limit circuit training workouts to no more than four times a week. Anything more than this can be detrimental and increases the risk of injury.
Additionally, make sure to warm up before starting a session by doing about 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio exercise. End every circuit training routine with a cool down and a round of stretching to allow the body to ease into the end of the exercise.
One can never overestimate the benefits of stretching when it comes to ending a workout. Using the right supplement should also help improve one’s performance while assisting your body in its recovery.
How Long Should Circuit Training Last?
A single circuit training session should last 30 minutes to an hour.
Training beyond one hour at such a high level of intensity may cause the muscle proteins to break down instead of increasing muscle mass.
If the goal is to build muscle, one should still not substitute a good muscle-building program that will produce bigger gains.
To know about circuit training, watch this video from Calisthenicmovement:
Circuit training is a challenging, high-intensity workout that involves 8-10 different exercises done continuously inside only 30 minutes to an hour. It is a type of training every athlete, weightlifter, or gym-goer ought to do as it has numerous benefits.
Again, remember to start each circuit training routine with a warm-up and end it with a cool down. Make sure to give the body enough time to rest and recover as well between each training session.
Do you have other questions about circuit training? Ask us in the comments section below!