Circuit training is a high intensity, strength training method that has existed for dozens of years and which is becoming more and more popular with athletes of all levels. Circuit training allows for muscle gain, increased endurance and bodyweight loss that is characterized by intense, short and repeated activity.

You’re probably wondering what the advantages are of practising this technique of gaining muscle out of the diverse range of methods available to you: CrossFit, cross-training and classic weight lifting. Superprof invites you to discover the reasons why circuit training is the best way to boost your physical fitness, cardiovascular system and to burn fat – regardless of what level of training you’re in.

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Circuit Training: One Way of Total Body Toning

Circuit training is a specific method of training that involves weight exercises as well as bodyweight exercises accomplished in a series of short, repeated bursts without pauses for rest. Because of this resistance training method, you’ll be able to have a defined set of exercises in advance that can make for an interesting, interval training style workout routine. Before moving on to the next series of moves, you will have a rest interval.

One main concern, whatever your gender, is working on having a strong butt – one that can only be accomplished with physical activity. Luckily, circuit training is one of the ways you can accomplish this while losing weight and adapting it to your level.  This method doesn’t just help with losing weight in specific areas but typically involves upper body and lower body workouts.

Circuit training is also a great way to work your heart health through cardiovascular exercise and improve endurance and stamina. Cardiovascular exercises are those that cause you to breathe heavily and is normally is characterized by total body movement.

In fact, circuit training depends a lot on your respiratory system and your cardio abilities. Any athlete working with circuit training will be able to see the benefits on their heart and lungs through the weight training involved.

In sum, circuit training requires little equipment, such as a kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell or medicine ball and can be adapted to all levels. Each workout should include body workouts that work your full body and muscle groups. Some of the muscles you can expect to work are your biceps, triceps, glutes as well as muscles in your abdominal and leg region.

Circuit training shouldn’t be confused with HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training. While HIIT workouts are very similar to circuit training sessions, including using classic moves like squats and push ups, circuit training actually requires each move to be completed consecutively and without a rest break between them.

Other Great Methods Besides CrossFit and Cross training

Circuit training isn’t the only exercise program you can utilize if you’re training in sports – there are other methods you might want to check out, depending on your ultimate goal. Some examples, like CrossFit or cross training, can be equally as effective in providing training exercises for weight loss and for improving general, total body performance.

CrossFit is a body workout that is derived from the CrossFit Inc. society and involves toning muscles, gymnastics, cardio training and more. Each day, a CrossFit athlete will have a WOD or workout of the day, defined for them in advance.

Finding maps online that display gyms officially affiliated with CrossFit is a great way of finding a gym that is in your price range as well as willing to be adaptable to whatever sports level. The CrossFit method depends on discipline and intensity.

CrossFit is different from circuit training in a number of aspects:

  • Both can use materials like weights, but CrossFit tends to utilize heavier weights
  • Circuit training is centred around cardiovascular health while CrossFit centres around muscle gain
  • Circuit training can be adapted specifically to women
  • Circuit training focuses on being a fat loss program that functions on working all parts of the body equally

On the other hand, both training methods are very similar in many aspects, like the aspect of rest intervals. In both methods, this rest time tends to be very short. Whether you’re at the gym with an online personal trainer or simply workout out at home, both methods will leave you sweating with your heart pounding. Another similarity they share is the fact that both have a diverse range of body areas they focus on.

high intensity workout
You can combine high intensity cardio with your circuit routine

Cross Training is another training method you might be interested in to burn calories or body fat, which gets its name from the other two types but actually doesn’t have a lot to do with the two. Actually, cross training is generally used in sports played at the professional level and consists of training in a sport that is distinct to the one you’re already doing in order to reinforce different skills.

This method allows an athlete to work on muscles other than the ones typically worked in the sport they specialize in. If you’re currently not training in a sport at a higher level, this method is probably not of interest.

Optimize Your Muscle Gain with the Power Circuit

In order to work on specific areas of the body, athletes often turn to classic exercises and machines they can use that involves lifting weights. Weightlifting is one of the most classic methods of training that is characterized by completing the lifting movement and then pausing between each rep of lifting.

As you can see, this kind of workout is area-specific: arms, abdominal or legs – weightlifting allows you to train and build muscle in an efficient way. Comparing this to circuit training, instead of getting a general workout that works the whole body, classic weightlifting works specific body parts and is therefore very efficient in building muscle.

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This, however, doesn’t mean that circuit training and weightlifting are incompatible as training workouts. Weightlifting exercises can be integrated in a circuit workout framework and, going further, also combined with cardio exercise. For example, in order to move from a classic circuit training session, aimed for beginners, to a complex circuit training, aimed at muscular endurance, there exists one method called the power circuit.

Circuit training has the advantage of increasing your metabolism, or metabolic rate, which is a result of the structure of the full body workout. After each rep, in which the body has a short recovery time, the body starts to burn fat. Methods such as the power circuit training are defined by fat burning exercises, with the number of reps adjustable to each level.

For classic power circuit training, it is advised to complete 30 or 40 reps per move, with around 6 different exercises and 5 overall circuits. This framework isn’t static, though, and is meant to be modified according to skill level and the ability for whole-body movement.

The efficiency of power circuit training can be traced to the explosive movements: each movement should be strategic and powerful in order for you to get meaningful results. Again, circuit training is based on time and not on the number of repetitions – something that applies to power circuit training as well.

It’s also advised to alternate movements in order for variation in the areas you are working. This will give both your upper and lower body a workout – a full-body exercise routine where no muscle should be neglected.

One session of power circuit training can be done in less than half an hour and gives you the intensity of weightlifting with the short time commitment of circuit training when compared to classic weightlifting.  There are many other ways to turn your power circuit training session into a cardio workout by incorporating both more anaerobic and aerobic exercise moves in each circuit.

Sprint interval training
Practice circuit training with a friend or family member!

Advice on How to Start Circuit Training

Circuit training is a great way to increase cardiovascular fitness through weightlifting in order to experience both toning and realize your fitness goals. To get all the benefits of circuit training, you should prioritize good form.

Your benefit from the total body workout of circuit training either with friends or alone, depending on what style of workout atmosphere you prefer. Regardless of what you choose, make sure your training environment is secure and safe.

Completing strength exercises and body workouts for weight control is only one component to a healthy body. Paying close attention to what you feed your body and mind is an essential part of feeling and looking healthy.

In order to reap the most fat burning and endurance building benefits out of the bodyweight exercises you do in this type of fitness program, eating a healthy diet will be just as important to building up your major muscle groups as the pushups and lunges you perform.

Here are some examples of the types of exercises you’re likely to encounter in circuit training:

  • Inverse crunches
  • Rowing
  • Burpees
  • Jumping jacks or jump rope
  • Mountain climber or jogging in place
  • Triceps or tricep dips

The ideal circuit training is composed of a half hour of training and a half hour of rest. Each exercise should last anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute, with the same amount of rest time in between each move. What are you waiting for? Start your circuit training today!

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