Luckily, we can apply this type of approach to our work out schedules with the use of circuit training. Lets get to it were going to cover:
- What is Circuit Training?
- How to Start Circuit Training
- Types Of Circuit Training
- Will Circuit Training Really Help Me?
- Considerations For Circuit Training
- Start Today
What is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is a work out method that focuses on high intensity and repetitive exercises that build, strengthen, and slim your body simultaneously. Circuits are a group of individual exercises, performed in a set, that focus on cardio and strength training movements.
Multiple circuits are performed in a set– back to back with a short rest period in between, and no rest during each individual circuit. Most people focus on two to eight circuits per training period.
You would assign each activity a specific amount of reps, such as 50 jumping jacks, 25 pushups, and 10 burpees.
These activities would be performed one right after another without rest. Then, you would take a short break (30 seconds or so), and repeat these activities one additional time. At the end of that set, your two circuits would be complete.
The maximum number of circuits most people stick to varies, and it is beneficial to have many different types of circuit exercises in the same work out session. Your circuits should be a combination of cardio exercises, such as running, jumping jacks, or jump rope, combined with strength training exercises, such as pushups, weight lifting, and lunges.
Some people opt to do multiple circuit sessions, with ‘session one’ containing exclusively cardio and ‘session two’ containing exclusively strength training exercises, and perhaps a third session combining the two.
This method of working out has been gaining popularity since 1953, when it was developed by R.E. Morgan and G.T. Anderson.
Original methods focused on training at specific stations, where the participant would cycle from one station to the next, in repetition.
How to Start Circuit Training
If the thought of circuit training interests you, but you are unsure where to start, consider some of these programs.
This program is ideal for those who want to reach their fitness goals, but need a little extra guidance and motivation along the way. Broken into three phases, with a 90-day length, this program is meant to set you up for long term success.
Jillian Michael’s popular straightforward and powerful approach that has gained her success on television shows like “The Biggest Loser,” is present in this program, allowing for personalization and meal planning. Included in the program are 15 DVDs, a 90-day journal, a free 30-day membership to her online weight loss community, a seven-day kick start diet, and meal and fitness planners.When combined with healthy eating, this program delivers! The three phase system is great for beginners who are looking to ease into an intense work out program, and the structured work out regimen helps limit any confusion as to what exercises you should be doing.
With easy to modify movements, as well as a low-impact modifier for each routine, this program is great to customize to your needs and abilities.
While challenging, the gradual increase in intensity gives you immediate feedback about the changes in your body, and as you are able to keep up with each new routine, you will know you are achieving success.
This program focuses on strength and toning. “Ripcords” are the tool that the Human Trainer program relies on to create lean, shapely muscles. With attached handles, these cords provide resistance levels ranging from 3-90 lbs. More effective and convenient than traditional weights, these cords can be combined with cardio and flexibility training as well.
This product is easy to transport, making fitness possible anywhere you go. The six different colored resistance cords provide varying tension levels, allowing you to tailor the work out to your specific needs.
The accompanying training videos allow for an intense full body toning experience, with bonus workouts catered to sculpting your core.
If you like the idea of ripcords, but are hesitant to try the full Ultimate Bodyweight Resistance program, it is possible to purchase the bands and Circuit 7 DVD separately. While giving you the guidance of a full circuit training workout, this set provides an introductory look at incorporating tension bands into your workout.
The ability to combine the cords with various cardio, strength training, range of motion, and flexibility exercises, makes them perfect for everyday use, and full body improvements. The accompanying DVD has options for Beginner and Advanced routines, making this an ideal option for an introduction into fitness and circuit training exercises.
World renowned fitness expert Tony Horton, founder of the famous program P90X, takes circuit training up a notch by providing challenging strength training exercises, in a boot camp style method. This program requires daily commitment to get through eight weeks of intense physical training.
A mix of cardio, core, and resistance training plans, combined with an emphasis on healthy eating– this program will help you keep track of your progress and plan your long term success. The Deluxe kit comes with two standard DVDs consisting of eight work outs, plus an additional deluxe DVD of advanced work outs.You will also receive a Quick Start Mission Guide, Basic Training Action Plan, a Nutrition Guide, 7 portion control containers, and a Shakeology shaker cup, to keep up with your fitness goals on the go.
This program is easy to fit into your day, but it is intense. The moves are simple to follow, but this program is best done by those with some fitness experience. Tony is a motivational and straight to the point coach, and is ideal for those who are looking to quickly jump right into their fitness plan.
What makes this program successful is Tony’s emphasis on healthy eating, and the kit, complete with many tools to help you reach your nutrition goals, yields quick results and rave reviews.
Types Of Circuit Training
The great thing about circuit training is the level of exercise and type of movements are entirely up to the individual. Whether you have serious fitness goals, desire to maintain your current weight– or just want to work off some extra post-baby pounds, circuit training can be geared to the exact level of fitness you desire.
Here are a few ideas to help you create your workout:
Cardio: running, jogging, jump roping, burpees, jumping jacks, elliptical, biking, rowing machines, kickboxing moves, swimming, or dance moves
Strength training: lunges, weight lifting, goblet squats, planks, shoulder presses, kettlebell, deadlifts, pull ups, leg press, calf raises, push-ups, abdominal movements, or handstands
Will Circuit Training Really Help Me?
One of the major advantages of circuit training is that it can be done anywhere. You do not necessarily need to spend money on a gym membership to work out—though doing the work out at a gym expands your options. However, many people opt to circuit train in the comfort of their own homes, without the peer pressure and intimidation that is often prevalent at the gym.
If you are someone who enjoys group fitness, circuit training is built into a lot of the programs that are widely available today such as Zumba, Cross Fit and Curves programs. Circuit training in group classes is also ideal for gaining friends that have like-minded goals.
Studies show that the best weight loss results are seen in individuals who have support, accountability, and motivation surrounding them. Classes like Zumba and Curves will provide you a strong support team to help you reach your goals.
Circuit training programs can be incorporated into virtually every type of fitness plan. Whether you are wanting a hardcore boot camp like program, or a slow strength training exercise, there is likely an option for you on the market somewhere.
Circuit training is easily modified, meaning you can make it as intense as you want; however the methodology behind it can be taken and applied to things like physical therapy, where gradual increases in strength are the goal. The versatility of the design also allows you to custom tailor your program to fit your personal needs.
The major incentive behind circuit training is that it allows you maximum calorie burn with short workout periods and maintain varied levels of heart rate. This method is ideal for women who are on the go, allowing us to condense what would be a long gym workout, into a manageable, productive, fitness session.
The reason most people flock to circuit training programs is because they have busy schedules. When combined with a healthy diet, and when used in combination with other forms of exercise, many people report that results happen quickly.
Considerations For Circuit Training
While circuit training is ideal to work out quickly and efficiently, there are some drawbacks to think about. The biggest thing to remember is, like most quality fitness programs, circuit training can be exhausting! Packing lots of high intensity moves into a short time period burns out even the most high endurance performers. While this can be an issue for the novice, it is especially difficult for beginners to overcome.
As with any exercise, it is important to remember to start slow. Only do exercises you are comfortable with, and know how to execute correctly. For complete beginners, it might be challenging to limit yourself to easy tasks like walking, jumping jacks, and lunges, but your body will thank you in the end.
As with all fitness programs, proper nutrition, an active lifestyle, and a well-rounded fitness routine must be combined with the program in order to see results. Although circuit training can burn up to nine calories a minute, all of your hard work will yield minimal results, if you are not making other significant strides in your health.
Circuit training should be approached carefully by anyone that has a previous injury. The quick, repetitive motions of the work outs will aggravate any preexisting injury if has not properly healed, or is still causing any pain.
As with any lifestyle changes, it is important to speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits involved., especially if you have any illnesses, such as heart disease that could be aggravated by an intense work out.
It is important to keep your workout style in mind when deciding whether or not to give circuit training a try. If you are utilizing a traditional gym, where individuals are constantly changing machines, your circuit can be interrupted— decreasing the effectiveness of the work out.
If you are trying to incorporate a certain machine like the elliptical into your circuit, but move on to another machine, someone may come in and take the elliptical from you by the time you need to return to it. If you are looking to practice your circuit training consistently, individual workout environments are usually the most manageable—or using the gym during non-peak hours.
Circuit training is a great option for those looking to enter into the world of fitness, or for those who have experience and are looking to take their workouts up another level. The versatility allows for programs to be completed at home or in the gym, and with daily dedication and a healthy lifestyle you will see results.
Whether your goals are endurance, strength training, flexibility, or weight loss there is undoubtedly a program that will help you achieve your goals in a convenient and time management friendly way.
Here are some other programs for you to consider: