Regular exercise is part of a healthy, active lifestyle. After consistently exercising, your physical fitness can improve significantly. To avoid a plateau, and to continue to see results, you might be ready for an extra challenge. This is where circuit training can be beneficial. During circuit training, you swiftly move from one exercise to the next with minimal to no rest in between the exercises.
The Benefits of Circuit Training
One of the benefits of circuit training is that it saves you time. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get an effective workout. An average circuit-training session takes about 30 minutes and can improve both your muscular fitness and your cardiovascular fitness. You’ll optimize your caloric burn and blast away fat. Because you decide which exercises to include in your circuits, boredom isn’t a factor; you can switch up your workouts as you see fit.
How to Create a Circuit Training Session
A circuit can consist of as many exercises as you like. For this example, we’ll start with six exercises. Before starting a circuit, warm-up with five minutes of light cardio to get your blood flowing. Then choose six exercises that you want to include in your circuit. For instance, chest presses, triceps dips, squats, crunches, overhead dumbbell presses and biceps curls. Perform one set of each exercise or perform each exercise for one minute. After finishing one exercise, quickly move on to the next exercise. If you must rest between the exercises, take no more than a 15- to 30-second breather. After doing all the exercise one time, repeat the entire cycle up to two more times. Finish your workout with a five-minute cool down that’s similar to your warm-up.
Circuit Training Frequency
You can replace your regular strength-training workout with a circuit-training session. The American Council on Exercise recommends circuit training one to three times a week. Ideally, do the sessions on nonconsecutive days so your muscles have enough time to recover between workouts.
To get the most out of circuit training, include exercises that emphasize your problem areas. For instance, if you want to firm up your buttocks or legs, include lunges, squats and step-ups. To really fire up your workout, incorporate short cardio bursts in between the strength-training exercises. For instance, jump rope for one minute, jog on a treadmill or do jumping jacks. Keep your body guessing and challenged so you continue to see results. Consult your doctor before beginning a new type of workout, especially if preexisting health conditions and injuries are at play.
American Council on Exercise