In the world of fitness and gym there are various types of training that help to respond to very different goals.
For those who have little time, who are tired of routine and monotony or who want to lose weight or tone faster, for example, then one of the types of training I recommend is circuit training.
But do you know what it is and what’s the benefit?
See the answer to this and other questions and some examples!
What is it?
Circuit training allows us to exercise the body in a more dynamic way without we realize how much time has passed.
It might be a way to give you the motivation to go to the gym and, you know, beat your own records every turn!
Circuit training consists in the realization of several exercises (stations), one after the other, without pause or with little pause between them. Certain repetitions/or a specific time for each exercise may be stipulated. The circuit ends when all the exercises have been completed.
Burn fat and get shaped
Circuit training is a type of metabolic resistance training. According to Joe Dowdell:
“With this training style, the goal is to maximize caloric expenditure while also increasing your metabolic rate.”
This type of training will generate an increase metabolism, helping our body to burn fat in an effective way. (You will continue to burn calories even when you are done training)
Attention! It may not be suitable for those who want to increase strength and muscle mass. Being that, a solution for those who have this goal and want to do circuit training is to perform fewer repetitions and increase the intensity/weight.
Dynamic and fast
As Dr. Michael Smith indicates:
“If you’re looking for a full-body workout in 30 minutes or less, circuit training does the trick. You get the benefits of muscle building and toning along with an intense cardio workout.”
With the advance of time, were being protocols created that can be included in circuit training, namely the HIIT training, where our body reaches high intensity peaks with little time of rest.
It’s something that can be highly profitable for your performance. Find out more about HIIT training here.
By the way: for those who like to run, you can always do a circuit of legs and exercises that involve plyometrics, or impulse. You’ll see that your performance in the race will improve.
You can do it anywhere
Circuit training can be done anywhere. You don’t have to be cooped up in the gym and you can enjoy the outdoors, but you can also do a circuit practice at home or in the gym. Rain or excessive heat, are no excuses!
Circuit training is characterized by its creativity, its dynamism and because it can be carried out by different people.
The circuit can involve not only cardio, but also bodybuilding, and can always be adapted according to the client’s goals.
From exercises with body weight, dumbbells, machines, cables, towels… Anything goes, just be creative.
Terry West, president of the Oceania Athletics Coaches Association, refers that:
“Creative circuit training is an excellent training tool where we can obtain desired training effects in an enjoyable and mentally stimulating way.”
Other interesting facts:
Circuit training has the advantage of being able to involve several groups, from the younger ones, to the seniors.
According to a study carried out with individuals with an average of 74 years old, it was concluded that circuit training for this group can improve mobility and stability while helping to reduce the risk of falling.
Julia Valentour, fitness coach and program coordinator for the American Council on Exercise, enunciates another advantage:
“The great thing about circuit training is that you can tailor the exercises and exertion to your ability level.” – this adaptation will allow more people to practice.
Appropriate resistance and low-intensity circuits can help improve both cognitive and functional levels.
Attention! It may not be suitable for people with injuries or recovering from injuries.
Examples of circuit training
There are several types of circuit, but I will give only a few examples:
It consists in performing several cardio exercises. In this case, you will increase the burning of fat mass.
Recommendation: 6 stations of 30-second with 3-4 laps with the following exercises:
- Jumping Jacks
- High Knee
- Butt Kicks
- Pop Squats
Focus: Burn fat mass, monetize time. It has similarities to the training HIIT – Tabata.
It consists in making several stations with exercises that work various muscle groups.
Recommendation: 4 laps of 6 exercises with 15 to 20 repetitions and with 1-minute rest between each lap.
- Clean and Press
- Kettlebell Swing
- TRX Row
- Push ups
- Abdominal Crunch
- Plank (40 seconds)
Focus: toning and increased muscle resistance. Ideal for shaping the body.
This kind of circuit has similarities to CrossFit.
Bodybuilding circuit or HIIT weight training
It consists of choosing various bodybuilding exercises that involve the use of weights.
Here we can include, although in a reduced way, the supersets.
Recommendation: 4 laps from 15 to 20 repetitions with 2 to 3 minutes break between each lap.
- Leg press
- Leg curl
- Incline Bench Chest Press
- Low row
- Shoulder press
- Biceps Curl or Triceps extension as you prefer
It is perhaps one of the most demanding and works more intensely the muscles that are recruited during the exercise.
Circuit mix or freestyle
As the name implies, we can mix everything up a bit making this type of training more challenging.
Recommendation: 4 laps of 6 exercises with 20 repetitions with 2 to 3 minutes rest between each lap.
- Leg Press
- TRX Push ups
- Dumbbell Flyes
- Military Press
- Cable Crunches
- Plank (30 seconds)
The goal is to add intensity to the workout and to make it more dynamic while improving endurance.
The prescribed circuits can have a multitude of exercises and combinations that will translate into different stimuli in the body and can create a strong motivation and enhance a greater commitment in training.
Talk to your instructor to prescribe you a circuit training to try!