Circuit training is a type of full-body workout where you go through a number of stations, each targeting a different muscle group, without any rest in between. So you might be doing squats and then immediately start doing push-ups, then lunges, etc. This pushes you to move aerobically and tests the strength of your body. It offers some of the most effective training. So if you’re looking for a power-packed, whole-body workout, check out these benefits of circuit training to understand if this is the right type of training for you.
Benefits of Circuit Training
Maximum Results in Minimum Time
Unlike you work in the gym, you probably don’t have time for hours of training. Circuit training allows getting a lot of exercises done in a very short space of time. You can choose how many stations you want to go through and then continue through the circuit until workout time runs out. Including the warm up and cool down, you can get a comprehensive workout into even 15 minutes. This makes circuit training ideal for those who are trying to fit a workout into their busy schedule.
Even ten minutes of circuit training three times a week will give health and fitness benefits. That’s right, with just a total of 30 minutes a week you can start to see results. Then, as you build up your fitness strength, you can add more minutes and make the training tougher.
The Combination of Cardio and Strength Building
Circuits usually include both strength and cardio training. So you get a good balance of both worlds. During the training you keep your heart rate elevated since you’re not resting between exercises. This promotes cardiovascular improvements, which you don’t see as much when practicing traditional bodybuilding. However, in addition to aerobic exercise, you also do weight training exercises. You target different muscle groups, such as biceps, quads and others, that allow you to build strength and endurance throughout the body.
Although you do moderate weight lifting loads in circuit training. So if you’re a strength athlete or you just want to build muscle mass, you’d probably stick to traditional weight training with heavier weights and fewer repetitions.
Typically, circuit training will consist of a number of exercises targeting all the muscle groups of your body, both minor and major ones. You usually alternate between lower body and upper body exercises. This allows each muscle group some rest after each exercise, so you can continue the workout without stopping for rest.
There are also benefits of circuit training for weight loss. You can burn more fat than with traditional weight lifting training since you’re doing more exercises in less time. This gives greater caloric expenditure during the training. Moreover, you also get lean muscle mass, which leads to improved metabolism and more fat burning.
How many calories you’ll burn depends on the intensity, duration of the workout and how much you weigh (the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn). On average, vigorous exercise can burn up to 10 calories a minute.
Increased Muscular Endurance And Strength
The idea behind programs for improving muscle endurance is doing more repetitions with lower weights, which builds up slow-twitch muscle fibers. That’s why exercises designed for improving muscle endurance will usually have a set of 15-25 repetitions. Usually, during circuit training, you perform about 15 or 18 repetitions of 10 various exercises. It could be without rest or with a very short break in between. So circuit training is also a great way to build muscle endurance, as well as strength.
It Doesn’t Require Equipment
Another benefit of circuit training is its versatility. You can do it at the gym and use all the available equipment there, such as weights, mats, machines and more, or you can do it at home or outside working with your body weight. You can do it while traveling, at the hotel or in the park.
It doesn’t require a lot of space and you don’t need a lot of money to spend on the equipment. If you want to add a bit more variety to your circuit training, you could just purchase a few dumbbells or barbells, a weight bench or a step board. With just several pieces of equipment, you’ll already have hundreds of exercise options.
Combining the benefits of high intensity interval training and weight lifting kicks your metabolism into high gear. Moreover, you get the afterburn effect, meaning that you’ll continue burning calories throughout the day.
A Fun Workout
Another advantage of circuit training is that it’s very flexible, allowing you to mix in different exercises. The options are limitless. You can also create one program and stick to it or make a new one every time you go to the gym.
You’ll be working on each exercise for about a minute, so it’s a pretty fast paced workout. It also means that you’ll be constantly switching up the activities, so your mind and body won’t have the time to get bored. Especially if there’s one exercise you dread, when you just do it for one minute and then move on to a more fun exercise, it doesn’t seem so bad.
Circuit training can also help you get through a fitness plateau, which is the state when your body gets bored with repetitive exercises, adapts to the movement and doesn’t feel challenged anymore. Plateaus can stop the weight loss process and slow down your fitness gains. And since circuit training involves a variety of movements, it will help you to break through or avoid the fitness plateau.
So as you can see, circuit training has some great benefits. You can tailor the workout to your preference, mixing the exercises that you want. You can also choose when and where to workout, be it in the gym, at home or in the garage. It doesn’t matter if you have the equipment or not. You can do it alone, join a group or do one-on-one personal training. So why not start circuit training and get maximum results in the most time efficient manner.