The main idea behind circuit training is that it allows you to execute different exercises that target different parts of your body in a quick session
The main idea behind circuit training is that it allows you to execute different exercises that target different parts of your body in a quick session. Most times, you don’t have time to rest between each exercise, while in some cases, you will be allowed a little time to rest. For instance, you can choose to perform some bicep curls, followed by a set of overhead presses, and then a set of walking lunges.
The training methods with circuit training can be split into two basic categories, which include vertical training and horizontal training. When it comes to vertical training, you perform one set of all the multiple exercises before you return to the exercise again. While with horizontal training, you perform all the sets of one exercise before you move on to the next exercise.
When it comes to the type of exercises, intensity level, and variations in the technique, it is all based on the person performing the circuit, the reason for their training, and their ability level. For instance, the circuit may have a setup that is based on general fitness conditioning or a setup that is sports specific. The main similarity between all the circuits is that they all have little or no rest before each set.
When it comes to circuit training, you can never be bored, and at the same time, it would help strengthen your muscles and get your heart rate up. You can keep things interesting by switching up the sequence, swapping out varying stations, and then perform it at home with resistance bands and dumbbells, on a fitness trail, or at the gym with equipment. You can crank up the intensity level as high as you want. You can make it that bit difficult by boosting the intensity or switching from one station to the other faster. You can also move to a more comfortable place where you would workout.
Benefits of circuit training
There are many benefits that come with opting to do circuit training. Most times, the benefits are dependent on the individual circuit and the exercises it comprises of. These are the major benefits that are associated with;
You will beat the boredom of the gym
You have an unlimited number of ways you can organize your workout due to the fact that circuit training is a very flexible format. If you map out a plan, you will be more efficient and confident, whether you are looking to mix things up every time you visit the gym, or you want to keep doing the same thing for a while.
You can utilize all the latest fitness tools
There are times where you would want to try out new equipment, but you are still not caught up on how to utilize it properly for your workout session. By doing circuit training, you get the freedom to mix in a wide range of movements with the use of gym equipment like the kettlebells, Bosu, or TRX, which would allow you get comfortable with the equipment without needing to put in the commitment to a full workout session with the equipment.
No time wasting
You would get bummed out if you have to wait in line for your ideal workout tool to become available, or you have to engage in those conversations with the people in the gym. When it comes to circuit training, you can still get your workout done if you swap one station out for a different exercise.
Improve your metabolism
Circuit training can get your metabolism soaring thanks to all the plentiful benefits that come with heavy weight lifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). You will be able to burn more calories in 20 minutes than you would when you spend one whole hour on the elliptical. Also, circuit training has an after-burn effect that would see you burning calories for about 48 hours more after you have completed your workout.
You get the benefits of strength training and cardio
If you are a fan of cardio, it is important to note that you should also add weightlifting to your program. However, it can be tedious and much easier to skip a workout session that you do not enjoy. Circuit training provides you with the benefits that come with these two separate workouts as it allows you to mix sessions of high-intensity cardio with heavy weight lifting to result in a comprehensive workout.
It challenges your whole body
It is not a new thing for people to wing their workouts and wander around the gym floor. But with circuit training, you will be able to incorporate individual stations to form your whole-body circuit, which in turn would guarantee that you hit every minor and major muscle group in your body. It is advisable that you switch it up between core, upper body, and lower body moves so that you can allow each muscle group to get a good rest before the next session.
Reap maximum benefits in minimum time
You hardly find someone that has a lot of time to spend in the gym, except for the fitness instructors. So if you don’t have all that time, you would feel like it is impossible to achieve your goal in the little time that you have. With circuit training, you are able to get a perfect workout in that short period. You have the ability to set up the number of stations you want and then start going through the circuit until you exhaust your time. Even if you have 15 minutes or an hour, you are still able to fit in an efficient, total-body workout.
Areas that it targets
These are the major areas that are targeted when you opt for circuit training;
- Back: When you utilize gym equipment such as the seated machine row or perform moves like the pull-ups or front plank, your back muscles are worked.
- Glutes: You can add any exercise that really works your glutes. You can utilize a station of lunges for this, whether you are on a fitness trail or at home. You can go for the lying hamstring curl machine if you are at the gym.
- Legs: When you use gym machines, suck as the seated press, you will give your legs a good workout. You can add intervals of lunges or squats to your circuit if you want to get an extra boost.
- Arms: You can work your arms by using gym equipment like the preacher curls or triceps pushdowns. You can also try performing exercises like the triceps extensions or bicep curls.
- Core: You can strengthen your core by doing an exercise like the front plank or by using gym equipment such as the standing low cable hip abduction.
Is circuit training good for people with a health condition?
You can utilize circuit training along with a healthy diet as a good weight loss scheme. So, if you have to lose weight due to a certain condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, then this is an ideal plan for you.
If you have a back or knee injury, you should not do circuit training. However, it can be an option for you if you are fully recovered. You should discuss with your doctor if you are ready for it, also hire a certified trainer or a physical therapist as they can help you reap maximum benefits and also minimize your risk of getting injured again. Also, let your instructor know about your injuries if you are going to be taking a class.
If you are suffering from arthritis, you can do exercises that are of low impact. You shouldn’t perform exercises that place a lot of pounding pressure on painful joints suck as the jumping jacks.
If you have diabetes, you have to ensure that you are fully aware of what you are to do if you experience low blood sugar levels when you are in the middle of an exercise session.
If you have any heart issues, you should discuss it with your doctor first since circuit training is intense. You would probably start with something easy. Also, if you are faced with other physical limitations, you can still discover a plan that is right for you. You can work with a trainer or instructor to discover movements that will still help tone your muscles and get your heart pumping.
Types of circuit training
Strength and cardio
This is a circuit training that combines cardio with strength-training moves that would allow you to burn about ten calories per minute. This is a type of circuit where you use strength-training moves like the squat, and then follow it up immediately with a cardio move like sprinting, and then follow it up with a different strength move like pushups.
This is a type of circuit that is made for athletes that want to boost their performance in one sport or the other. For instance, you can utilize a running circuit that consists of core and leg strengthening exercises along with half-mile race pace runs on a treadmill.