This form of exercise helps to develop your whole fitness ability, improving stamina, strength and also mobility. It’s a great option due to its ability to both burn fat effectively, and sculpt your muscles, unlike some other training types.
Circuit training involves a number of different ‘stations’, with a specific amount of time spent at each one before moving on to the next station. Each station has a designated exercise to be carried out, ensuring that you don’t get bored as you constantly switch your workout up. Once you have visited each station once, you have completed one circuit, with the idea being that you complete multiple circuits as your training.
How does it work?
Circuits typically contain between six and ten stations, depending on your individual needs, and it is recommended that you complete it in an order where you focus on a different body part to the previous station. This could involve you doing a full-body exercise, followed by an upper-body one, lower-body one and finally a core one, before returning to another full-body exercise and repeating the cycle.
For example, with eight stations, and no equipment, you could do a circuit of:
Burpees, Press-ups, Squats, Sit-ups, Running, Dips, Lunges, Planks.
A common circuit training programme will have you spend one minute at each station, followed by one minute’s rest between stations. Once you have completed a circuit, then you should take a longer rest, with the exact length of it depending on your fitness levels.
In order to progress, you can shorten your rest period, increase the time spent at stations, or increase the number of circuits you complete before you have finished your day’s workout.
Why choose circuit training?
Circuit training is a great training option, mixing up a range of exercises to keep it interesting, as well as providing a great full-body workout that many other training regimes fail to replicate. It can be a fairly quick workout, but not as short and intense as HIIT; although HIIT can be too demanding for a number of people.
The exercises are still completed at quite high intensities though, with the time spent at each station typically being fairly short. This means it is an effective fat-burner, as you push yourself hard, and does not require a lot of your time.
Also, there is no need to have any gym equipment to be able to perform this training programme. It is very common for each station to only involve bodyweight exercises, such as press-ups, sit-ups, squats, and burpees. Therefore circuit training programmes can be easily changed around to suit the individual.
Of course, if you are in a gym or have access to other equipment, there are a huge number of exercises you could incorporate into your circuits, helping to prevent it from becoming tedious.