Keep reading to the end of this post for a sample of circuit training routines you can use at the gym or at the home and office.
Circuit Training Defined
Circuit training is when you do a series of several types of exercises that results in working your entire body in just one short session.
Go back and forth from resistance intervals and cardio or rest. Add benefit by adding intensity by including a cardiovascular component so your heart rate remains elevated and sustained above a resting level throughout the workout
Benefits of circuit training
Because the workout can include both strength and cardio training, exercisers can realise the that both cardio and strength training have benefits that result in improved general conditioning, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
Development of lean body mass can be expected in combination with a decrease in relative fat. Other benefits are improved tendon and ligament strength, increased bone density, heightened body awareness and greater self esteem, all of which can contribute to better performance during any activity.
You get a total body workout by using different groups of muscles. The circuit will give you endurance, strength and burn off fat dissolving calories. It’s great for when you have a short period of time (you can do an effective circuit in 10 min) or for just shaking things up.
You can do circuit training at home or at a gym and you can make your workouts as hard or as easy as you wish.
The intensity can be designed to be moderate or quite intense dependent upon your personal fitness goals and can be adapted to your progress and keep stimulating your body. Circuit training can be also beneficial in developing anaerobic endurance.
Circuit Training Considerations
You should include a warm up and cool down period that includes stretching. Start slowly, and don’t go beyond your abilities. If you feel pain or are concerned with how you feel you should stop. In the beginning you may need to rest more between sets. As always be sure to check with your medical professional for advice before beginning any new physical activity.
Circuit Training Routine
Generally designed in a way to alternate between muscle groups a circuit training routine can utilize a wide variety of exercises and equipment. Since it requires minimal floor space it can be designed for the home, office or gym.
All the equipment can be relatively inexpensive such as fitness tubing, jump rope, dumbbells, medicine balls, and stability balls. Many exercises use simple “body weight” with no need for equipment at all. A circuit can consist of as few as 6 stations or as many as 15 stations based on the goals and pre-training levels of the participants.
Circuit training is a very useful conditioning method. Great for beginners and those of average fitness looking to tone up and get in shape. Beginners may find circuit training difficult at first because lactate levels may rise above threshold causing the muscle burn sensation.
If you stick with it, your muscles will very quickly adapt. Circuit training is a great addition to your workout when you are reaching a plateau, bored, or just ready to try something new.
Because it is beneficial in developing anaerobic endurance it plays an integral role in the off-season workouts of many athletes as a way to maintain general fitness while avoiding the high physical demands of in-season sport or can serve as a segue to more rigorous strengthening programs. For many years circuit training has been a popular form of fitness activity used by the military and sports teams
One circuit generally consists of 6 to 15 exercises. Each exercise is performed for a set number of repetitions or for a pre-determined period of time before moving to the next exercise. For example, you might do 15 squats or as many as you can for 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and then do 2 minutes of jogging on the spot then do 15 bench presses or as many as you can for 30 seconds followed by other exercises.
Depending on your fitness level, you might do one circuit or several circuits during each workout. The aim of this exercise is to time the muscles by the end of the set period. You can chose either a number of reps (say 10 – 15) or choose time (like 30 sec) perform the reps at using a resistance that will leave your muscles tired.
Keep going back and forth form cardio exercise to resistance exercises for the entire circuit. After a short period of time you will notice your strength improving as well as your cardio ability so you will have to make adjustments so you can keep challenging yourself. You can do these circuits 3 x week.
Keeping the rest periods minimal is important for aerobic-training. Be sure to alternate between upper and lower-body exercises, or opposing muscle groups, so that an elevated heart rate is maintained for optimal caloric expenditure.
The circuit can be simple or complex to suit the exercisers needs. It can be broken into groups or run through completely. Below are just two samples of the versatility inherent to the design of the circuit.
Circuit Training Routines
At Home / Office Circuit Sample –
Equipment List: Stability Ball, exercise band, and body bar.
- ball squat with exercise band shoulder press– 15 reps
- jog on spot 2 minutes
- stationary lunge – 15 reps each leg
- chest press on ball – 15 reps
- plank on ball – hold for 30 seconds
- three steps up and down for 2 minutes
- bar back row – 15 reps
- ball crunches – 15reps
- alternate leg lift to chest – 2 minutes
- step dips – 15 reps
- bar curl – 15 reps
Gym circuit sample
- leg press – 15 reps
- lat pull down – 15 reps
- barbell squats – 15 reps
- jog on treadmill – 5 minutes
- military press – 15 reps
- hamstring curls – 15 reps
- bicep Curls – 15 reps
- stepper, quick pace – 5 minutes
- hanging leg raise – 15 reps
- close grip Chest Press – 15 reps
- upright bike, moderate pace – 5 minutes
I hope you enjoy the two circuit training routines. If you have comments or questions please leave them below.