For the most part, people stick with exercises they are familiar with and have experience with, like low-intensity cardio or strength training. Learn about circuit training, and the many circuit training benefits that can next-level your weekly fitness routine!
It’s a great variation that will bring a breath of fresh air to your weekly routine, and add some new dimensions to your training.
Today, we’ll go over what the modality is, how it’s different, and what the circuit training benefits are. And finally will list a simple and effective routine you can use to realize these benefits.
What Exactly Is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is the act of performing several exercises in succession, usually done in a back-to-back fashion with no rest between exercises.
In most cases, a circuit workout includes at least five exercises, each designed to target a specific muscle group.
You’ll progress down the list of exercises without resting, and then taking a couple of minutes to recover between the individual rounds.
The primary idea behind circuit training is to do a lot of work in little time, spend less time in the gym, and simultaneously develop multiple characteristics like strength, power, explosiveness, endurance, agility, and general athleticism.
How Is Circuit Training Different From Other Exercise Modalities?
Unlike most exercise modalities, circuit training has you work some or all of your muscles at the same time with minimal rest.
For example, traditional gym training has you isolate a single muscle group (for example, your biceps), and all of the remaining muscles are at rest. This allows you to better focus on the muscle, sure, but it also means that you have to spend a lot more time and mental effort in the gym.
Circuit training, on the other hand, has you train your muscles at the same time, and you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
And it’s quick, it’s fun, and it adds some much need variation to what might otherwise be a very ordinary workout week.
What Are Some Circuit Training Benefits?
There are a number of great benefits, and here are the highlights:
1) Adds Much Needed Variation
We all know that our workout routines can get very repetitive, and even boring if you never add variation. Sometimes it’s nice to add a bit of spice to the weekly recipe. Enter circuit training.
Circuit training adds much needed variation, whether it’s once a week or once a month. It will work your muscles in a slightly different way, and provide some mental agility as well.
2) Circuit Training is Quick and Condensed
Well, the most apparent circuit training benefit is that it saves time. Rather than spending an hour or more on your workout, meticulously training one muscle at a time, you get to train them all within ten to twenty minutes and call it a day. So if you wake up late and miss your gym trip, this is a great routine to perform in 10 minutes in your family room.
3) It Improves Your Athleticism
Another great circuit training benefit is that it makes you more athletic. Again, rather than working on a singular aspect such as endurance (through cardio work) or strength (through weight training), you get to develop multiple athletic capacities at the same time. These include power, strength, coordination, balance, agility, explosiveness, and endurance.
4) Great for Burning Calories
What’s more, circuit training is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short period because you’re training multiple muscles at the same time, and you’re resting very little. In other words, your training density is quite high, and it’s a fairly intense training in that you stay busy.
So at the end of a circuit training workout, you will not only have worked your muscles, you will also experience a good cardio burn.
5) You Work More Muscles in a Shorter Time
Rather than doing a given volume of work in an hour, you’re doing it in twenty minutes. Sure, it’s more challenging, but it’s also much more beneficial and time-effective. You hit all or most of your major muscle groups in 10 or 20 minutes.
6) It’s a Great “Anytime Anywhere” Workout
Circuit training can be done at home, in the gym, or even at your local park. It does not require equipment, and is a great “anytime anywhere” workout routine.
Simple and Effective Circuit Training Routine
There are a million ways to create a circuit routine. To reap the most circuit training benefits, you can try this one. It’s simple, very effective, and a great starting point. You can then add variation as you see fit based on your experience and fitness level.
Always do some light cardio like jogging in place to get your muscles warmed up, and your blood flowing. You never want to jump in and workout with cold muscles.
- Jumping Jacks
- Ab Crunches
- Bodyweight Squats
- Tricep Dips (on a table or bench)
- High Knees (In Place)
- Sprint in Place (cardio)
- Perform each exercise for 20-30 seconds
- Performing Exercises 1 thru 7 above is 1 Round
- Perform 1 Round, then rest 1 minute between Rounds
- Perform 2-4 Rounds total, with 1 minute rest between Rounds
- Maintain consistent level of intensity for all Rounds