Circuit training normally refers to an instructor-led class, so-called because of the circuit – or carousel – of exercises you do in rotation over the course of the session. You start at one ‘station’, working on one particular exercise for anywhere between 30 seconds to a few minutes, then move around a circuit of 8-10 stations completing the various challenges as you go. Due to its intensity, circuit training is hugely beneficial for increasing muscle endurance. The key lies in variety: short bursts of aerobic exercise mixed with strength training. The pace is fast, and you’re guaranteed to sweat!
Read on to discover 5 circuit training benefits
- Circuit training provides an intense cardio workout. It raises your heart rate and gets blood pumping around your body. Aerobic exercises may form up to half of the stations – expect skipping, jogging, lunges and burpees galore. Calorie-burn is high meaning that the benefits of circuit training for weight loss are huge.
- Circuit training is also strength building. You will find yourself working with weights and resistance at some of the stations, alternating with the more aerobic exercises above. This is where you will find sit ups, bench presses and bicep curls. For those looking to build muscle it’s a serious option and you can expect to see impressive gains in muscular endurance.
- It complements other exercises: whether you are training for a triathlon or play for a local soccer team, circuit training will increase your performance and endurance across a range of other sporting activities.
- It is seriously time efficient. You will see noticeable results with a regular program of just 30 minutes! Because each station targets a different part of the body there is no need for built-in rest periods: if one station you work arms, on the next you work abs or jog on the spot – and arms are resting! And it’s adaptable too – if you’re pushed for time one day, take your 2-minute stations downs to 1 ½ minute to compress the circuit rather than skip a session.
- It can be free. Yes, that’s right – if cash-flow is an option, you can set up your own circuit and many city and community parks nowadays have dedicated exercise zones to allow joggers and cyclists to complete their aerobic sessions with some resistance and more focused training. Mix it up – creating your own circuit in the backyard or the park with friends!