Crunched for time? Not sure how to combine cardio, flexibility, strength and power all into one workout? Who truly has time to spend hours a day in the gym? Fortunately, there’s an excellent way to get more done in the gym without extra time. It’s called circuit training!
Circuit training is an awesome multitasker, combining several important aspects of fitness into one comprehensive workout. You can get more done with circuit training thanks to the program design and countless exercises you can pack into a short period.
You’ll be working on your cardiovascular fitness, because your heart rate will be elevated the entire time, and you’ll be improving your strength as you perform the series of exercises. High-intensity aerobics, body weight exercises, resistance training and even power-based or compound movements can be a part of a circuit training workout.
The circuit training setup varies depending on the goal, fitness level, and personal interests. You can focus your circuits for strength, mobility, power or cardio; you can also pair all aspects of fitness into one kick-butt circuit!
Typically, a number of exercises are performed back-to-back and with little to no rest until one round or set of the circuit is completed. I’d suggest pairing exercises that involve opposing muscle groups (i.e. back/chest or hamstrings/quads) or different movement patterns (i.e. front to back, side to side, and twisting or rotating) so you don’t burn out and can work quickly throughout the entire workout. Also, make sure you rest a minimum of 30-45 seconds between rounds. Depending on the intensity of the workout, a circuit can be repeated for several rounds. As a personal trainer, I design most of my circuit training workouts to be repeated for three to six rounds.
Some of the best circuit training workouts allow for multiple circuits to be strung together in one workout session. So instead of completing a set number of exercises in one circuit, you complete one circuit entirely and move on to an entirely new circuit and so on. Creating whole-body mini-circuits that challenge your muscles from head to toe is a fantastic way to ensure that your entire body is getting worked throughout the week. I prefer stringing three to six circuits together so I can efficiently challenge my client’s musculature. If you’re crunched for time, you can split up circuits throughout the week, creating an upper-body circuit, a lower-body circuit, a cardio-only circuit, a push-pull circuit, etc.
Are you ready to get more done with circuit training? It’s time-efficient, comprehensive, boredom-busting and intense all in one workout! Now get out there and circuit train!