A Guide to Circuit Training
There are so many options for workouts that it can get overwhelming if you are new to the fitness world. Or you may not be new to it and you’re still overwhelmed, that’s totally normal. From studio classes to recommended styles of working out that all vary in movement and results… how do you choose? We are here today to make it a little less overwhelming by explaining all you need to know about circuit training. This is a great option for beginners and well-practiced fitness people.
Circuit training explained:
Circuit training is performing single sets of exercises, back to back, with minimal rest in between. There is some room for creativity with circuit training as each circuit varies each time you perform a circuit exercise. This targets different muscles and ensures a full body workout. Each workout typically includes 3-8 exercises that you’ll perform for a set amount of reps. For example, you could perform 10 reps of mountain climbers, 12 kettlebell deadlifts, 10 push ups and so on. During each circuit, you want to use moderate to heavy weights that are 70-90% of your max potential. Some equipment is necessary for circuit training because it consists mainly of weight training exercises. However, they also include some cardio components as well from time to time.
What is the difference between circuit training and HIIT?
The key aspect that differs between high intensity interval training and circuit training is how the level of intensity is distributed. Circuit training aims to target and work as many muscle groups as possible in a short amount of time. Through HIIT, you focus on exhausting all of your body’s energy in short bursts of time followed by a period of rest or lower intensity work. Circuit training aims to build muscle while HIIT is mainly used as a form of cardiovascular training that simply preserves muscle.
What does circuit training do for the body?
Especially for beginners, it is a common misconception that you have to be at the gym for hours each day to get noticeable results. Circuit training proves that this is not true. The results from this form of fitness show that less rest but the same amount of work can be very effective. It is possible to get an effective workout done in 20-30 minutes.
Another great attribute of circuit training is that it also triggers a significant EPOC effect. This means the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level. This is how your body continues to burn calories even after you have completed your workout. This is why it is recommended to go hard for a shorter amount of time. The more intensely you workout, the more oxygen your body will consume prior to the workout. So, by completing one hard 30-minute workout, your body will continue to burn more calories for up to 48 hours following the workout!
Who should be doing circuit training?
Circuit training allows people to maximize their time spent working out due to the fact that they are performing a more efficient workout in a short time frame.
This workout is extremely malleable to fit the fitness needs of many individuals. It can be a great workout for anyone, however, it is not meant for those with high blood pressure or heart problems. If you do not fall into this category and you are looking to improve their overall fitness than circuit training is a great option for you. It can improve both your body’s respiratory system as well as improve muscular function and strength. Not only is it highly beneficial to health, it also offers variety with a different workout every day. So, say no to boredom with circuit training!
The potential overall benefits for mind and body:
- Can be done with or without equipment.
- Maximum results in a shorter amount of time.
- There are many options online for a new workout each day that are easy to follow. However, it’s also easy to create your own workout, giving your creativity some attention!
- Targets multiple muscle groups in one session.
The potential drawbacks worth mentioning:
- Due to its high intensity, circuit training can be strenuous on the body if you overtrain. It can affect your muscles and joints in a painful way. It is essential to give your muscles and joints time to recover in between sessions. Always listen to your body if it’s telling you it needs a rest day.
- Circuit training is not helpful if you are looking to build a lot of muscle. One of the purposes of circuit training is to move fast so, without a 1-2 minute rest after lifting heavy, you aren’t able to lift as heavy as needed to build muscle.