Circuit Training gets your heart rate up and strengthens your muscles at the same time.
By Ed Shepherd CHC, CPT
Circuit Training is Versatile Circuit training is a method of functional and weight training that maximizes the volume of work done in a short period of time. Circuit training is a great tool to use for people who are interested in weight loss, muscle gain and overall strength increases, and as a warm up it’s a great way to loosen up the body. It can be done with weights, different kinds of balls, bands, or body weight exercises. I often set up circuits at the beginning of a class for a complete warm up routine, or sometimes at the end as a killer ab workout. It’s quite versatile and there are endless combinations. It can be a warmup or a cool down or a HIIT routine, and circuits keep things fresh and interesting, if not fun. It can also be very personalized.
Circuit Training Basics
Circuit training consists of performing multiple exercises on multiple body parts in a row with little rest in between exertions. You won’t be bored when you do circuit training. This workout gets your heart rate up and strengthens your muscles at the same time.You’ll move quickly through 8-12 exercise stations to work different muscle groups with little to no rest between stations. Each station has a different exercise. You may do bicep exercises, jump rope, use a wall ball or kettlebells, just to name a few. You’ll do 1-minute of reps at each station and then move on to the next station.
Circuit Training Benefits
Due to the lack of rest that circuit training demands, exercisers maintain elevated heart rates for the entire period of exercise. The combination of weight training and increased cardiovascular effort makes circuit training a beneficial type of cross training. The exerciser gains muscle through the resistance training, and increases his/her cardiovascular endurance during the slightly elevated heart rate that is maintained in between sets and throughout the overall program. You will burn high amounts of calories during the high exertion periods of your sets.
Circuit training is also a convenient way to exercise. It maximizes the total exercise volume (number of sets, repetitions, and amount of weight completed in a period of time). Exercises are completed in a row, and therefore, the time spent exercising is condensed. Separate cardiovascular training is not necessary. All body parts are trained in one session, and therefore you do not need to work out everyday.
Long Run Benefits
Circuit training is a type of interval training. Interval training is a great way to increase the body’s ability to burn calories when it is at rest. Your heart rate goes up very high, returns to a lower, but still elevated, state, and then goes up very high again. At no point during circuit training does the heart rate return to its resting rate. Circuit training and interval training overall, increases the amount of oxygen that a person consumes post exercise, and therefore, increases the number of calories that a person burns throughout the day. It can be used