Circuit training refers to when you cycle through a number of different exercises (usually about 10) that target different muscle groups with minimum rest.
For example, you will move from squats to lunges to push-ups to planks.
It is one of the most effective training methods.
Circuit training works by alternating muscle groups, so when you are done working your legs, you move to your arms while your legs rest so that you don’t have to rest in between.
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You repeat the workouts until you’re completely exhausted.
Here are some benefits of circuit training for your consideration.
BENEFITS OF CIRCUIT TRAINING
1. IMPROVES CARDIO HEALTH
The level of activity in a circuit leads to an elevated heart rate.
A study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research observed the effects of circuit-style bench press compared to standard strength training.
The results showed that although performance remained the same for both exercises, the heart rate was higher through the sets performed in the circuit style.
Circuit training makes your heart work harder which makes it learn to pump blood more efficiently.
2. IT IS VERY EFFECTIVE
It’s unlikely that you have time to go to the gym all the time.
Circuit training is the perfect workout routine if you are in a time crunch.
You can set up stations for your different workouts and continue through the circuit until you have exhausted them all.
It is possible to set an effective session whether you only have twenty minutes or an hour to spare.
Another one of the benefits of circuit training is that it can be done with no equipment at all.
3. BUILD MUSCLE
Circuit training mixes cardio and strength training.
The strength training helps your body build muscle. Building your muscle boosts your overall health and your athletic ability.
Exercise stimulates muscle growth in the two to four hours after you finish your workout.
This also helps boost your mood and healthy sleep patterns.
4. BOOST METABOLISM
Circuit training boosts your body’s ability to burn fat.
Studies show that circuit training is able to increase the body’s metabolism. In this study, scientists observed the effects of 12 weeks of circuit training on obese individuals.
The results showed that circuit training reduced visceral fat in the body. This also reduces the risk of insulin resistance, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.
Circuit training burns more calories in 20 minutes than going on the elliptical or running on a treadmill.
Additionally, the after-burn effect of circuit training will help you keep burning calories 48 hours after working out.
5. INCREASE MUSCLE ENDURANCE
In addition to building muscle, circuit training improves your muscle endurance.
Due to the repetitive nature of the exercises, one of the benefits of circuit training you will enjoy is enabling your muscles to work for a longer period of time.
A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics showed that circuit training improves cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
The study observed the effects of circuit training on children attending physical education classes for weeks. The students were subjected to a circuit training program during their PE sessions.
Additionally, the research showed that a maintenance program carried out once a week in four weeks, without a period of inactivity, can help maintain the gains obtained from the eight-week program.
6. ENGAGE YOUR BODY
Unlike other exercises, circuit training works on your entire body.
Rather than doing training for one hour for something that works on one part of the body, circuit training ensures that you engage your whole body.
This is part of the reason why it is more effective for weight loss, within a shorter amount of time you work all your muscles.
7. FASTER WEIGHT LOSS
Generally speaking, circuit training is more effective for weight loss than other training styles.
It engages more muscles, it boosts your metabolism, and burns more calories.
It can also help you target specific areas. For example, if you want to lose belly fat, you can choose a routine that helps you lose abdominal fat.
A study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that weight lifting burns 112 calories over 30 minutes. Aerobic workouts like swimming burn 205 calories. Circuit training burns 298 calories.
For faster weight loss results, circuit training may be your best bet.
8. AVOIDS GYM BOREDOM
Circuit training is one of the most flexible formats for workouts.
You can mix any number of routines and change it up as you need.
This level of creativity can help you avoid monotony and keep you motivated to work out.
You can even change your locations from outdoors to indoors as you need.
9. IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH
All exercise leads to the production of endorphins.
However, when it comes to circuit training, there is evidence of it completely improving your mental health.
Studies show that circuit training leads to mood improvement, lowered somatization, anxiety, depression, and hostility.
The research was conducted on law enforcement officers. 43 officers who had not been working out were subjected to four months of circuit training.
Additionally, the training resulted in improvements in job satisfaction.
Another study also found that circuit training can reduce depressive symptoms for people living with addiction.
Some of the benefits of circuit training are also psychological.
10. COST EFFECTIVE
As we have mentioned earlier, circuit training engages all your muscles, boosts your health, and helps you become fitter. And it does all this without needing any type of equipment.
You can enjoy the benefits of circuit training with just your body weight.
DISADVANTAGES OF CIRCUIT TRAINING
- Due to the wide variety of exercises, there is a higher risk of injury. You are moving from different levels of intensity and movements. Doing one exercise doesn’t have the same level of risk.
- Circuit training requires more preparation. Unlike the elliptical or treadmill which you just get up and go, you need to prepare a routine.
- If your circuit training includes strength training components, it has higher levels of fatigue. When you do an intense training session, consider a low or moderate-intensity workout the next day.
- While circuit training may not need lots of space and equipment, if you do incorporate equipment, you will need to add many devices to your routine.
EXAMPLE OF CIRCUIT TRAINING
For a pre-created circuit training workout, see Brian Syuki’s 10-minute Home Circuit Workout.
It is recommended that you do this work out twice a day.
CAN CIRCUIT TRAINING REPLACE CARDIO?
According to fitness experts on ShareCare, it is possible to substitute cardio with circuit training.
Because circuit training includes a series of resistance training exercises without rest, it can be just as beneficial as cardio.
Circuit training can also be turned into a cardio style workout by using lighter weights and more repetitions.
Circuit training is a great way to improve your physical fitness and lose weight.
Because of the variety of exercises, you can add to a routine, you can work your flexibility, strength, and get a cardio boost all at the same time.
If you have a condition like arthritis can also choose to do low-impact exercises only.
One of the other benefits of circuit training is how adaptable it is.
However, you should avoid circuit training if you have a knee or back injury. However, you should consult with your doctor or a physical therapist once you’ve recovered sufficiently.
It is an exercise you can do during pregnancy as long as your doctor says it’s ok.
It’s important to remember that this is a workout where you can easily overheat so ensure that you stay hydrated.