Is a Circuit Training Workout a Good Fit for You?
A circuit training workout requires you to perform a series of exercises with little to no rest in between. If you do this in a gym, you will go to a different station for each exercise, and you complete one circuit after visiting every station. When this is done at home you complete the circuit when one round of each included exercise has been completed, even if you don’t have actual stations.
A complete workout may include just one full circuit, or it may include two or three circuits of the same exercises. The number of exercises in the circuit can vary, depending on the length of the overall workout and the fitness level of the people participating.
How to Find Circuit Training Workouts
Some popular gyms and fitness clubs are based on the concept of circuit training workouts. Curves is a good example because participants move through a series of stations each time they visit.
A newer and more inclusive version of Curves is 9 Round. This is a kickboxing program composed of nine exercise stations. You receive a new workout each day, and each participant starts at round one and makes their way to round nine as timers signal the time to move to the next station.
You can also create your own circuit workouts at home. Decide how many “stations” you want in your workout and assign one exercise to each of those stations. Determine the overall length of your workout and divide that by the number of stations included to determine how many minutes you will spend on each exercise. You can include a brief rest period between stations, but make sure to figure that into your overall timing.
Signs that A Circuit Training Workout is Right for You
Now that you understand the basic concept of circuit training, how do you know if these workouts are a good fit for your goals, your lifestyle, and your personal needs? If you relate to any of following statements, there’s a good chance that it will work well for you.
- You like the idea of combining strength training and cardiovascular training. Many circuit workouts include stations with strength-building exercises as well as cardio movements.
- You want to burn as much fat as possible in each workout. Fast-paced circuit workouts will leave you drenched in sweat and burning fat at an accelerated rate.
- You want some flexibility in your workout. You can easily change any of the exercises included in a circuit to customize the workout.
- You prefer a workout that allows you to progress over time. Any exercise in a circuit can be modified, allowing people of all fitness levels to participate safely. As you gain strength and endurance, you can also perform the circuit multiple times for a longer and more intense workout.
- You get bored doing the same workouts over and over. There are endless configurations for a circuit workout. You can vary the number of exercises included, the length of the workout, and the exercises included. There’s no room to get bored when your workout is different every day.
- You prefer a full-body workout. While you can select exercises that focus on a particular muscle group, many circuit workouts are full-body toning opportunities with some fat-burning cardio thrown in. You may work on your arms on one station only to do jumping jacks or take a short run the next, and perhaps a booty-firming movement will come up next. These workouts keep you guessing and will break you free from thinking in terms of upper body or lower body only.
If you’re not sure if circuit training is right for you, give it a try. You may find that it suits you well, or you will quickly move on to other workout strategies.
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