Do you want to get in shape, lose weight or get muscular endurance but don’t have time for a long workout? Circuit training is a fun, challenging, and efficient way that can help you achieve those goals.
Circuit training is time efficient, involves different muscle groups, and doing a series of exercises in quick succession, with little to no rest in between.
This type of workout can help you burn fat, build muscle, and improve your endurance. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes to complete a circuit-training routine. Ready to give it a try?
After reading this blog, you will know how to create your own circuit training workout without going to circuit training classes or paying a personal trainer.
How to do circuit training?
For me, one of the biggest benefits of circuit training is that it can be done with any type of equipment, or without any equipment at all.
Circuit training consists of stations (usually 6-12) that are performed one after the other, where the length of rest varies between individual exercises, and they form one circle.
We do only one series on each station and each station covers a different topological region of the body.
The most common way to do this is by shifting major muscle groups. It’s popular to shift upper body exercises with the lower body, which creates a perfect full body workout program.
The duration of the interval in the station is determined by time or number of repetitions, while the rest interval between stations varies depending on the goal we want to achieve (usually 15-30 seconds).
We also determine the number of repetitions of laps and rest after the lap (2-5 minutes).
Quick changes and fast performance of exercises in circuit training workouts create specific stress for our body, which is different from normal exercises such as weightlifting in the gym or aerobics.
If you combine that with adrenaline that you can usually get on circuit training classes you have an excellent predisposition to lose weight and burn fat quickly.
Circuit training is certainly one of the best ways to get in decent shape in a relatively short time. This form of training is practically applicable and adaptable to all our requirements.
With this kind of training, we can influence the development of strength, endurance, agility, speed, explosiveness, the development of specific skills, weight loss, or any other aspect that is important to us.
Circuit training is applicable in literally all spaces. Of course in gyms, and playgrounds, but also our apartments.
For me, children’s playgrounds are an ideal training ground for circuit training! Climbers, benches, swings, slides…. You do not need any props for this training (except of course your own body!).
Circuit training exercises
As I said, the biggest point is to activate different muscle groups by shifting from upper body exercise to lower body, with minimal rest before starting the next exercise.
If your goal is to improve cardiovascular fitness you can just do exercises that combine cardio with bodyweight exercises. An example of this is a running circuit with push ups, jumping jacks, or bench dips after every run.
Circuit training exercises example that can combine with strength training goals:
- Pull ups – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
- Squats – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
- Push ups – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
- Abdominals – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
- Steps – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
- Superman – work interval 30 s, rest interval 15 s
After one round you can rest 2-5 minutes and then repeat the round two or three times.
Of course, feel free to use different exercises, just try not to repeat the same exercise in one round.
If we decide to train at home, then with minimal props we can do a great workout.
In addition to the above (body weight) exercises from the park, a pair of dumbbells, kettlebells, a med ball, a fit ball, etc. would be welcome.
Determine the time intervals or several repetitions of each exercise in the station, and the time interval of rest between stations (15-30 seconds).
In general, if you are an experienced recreational athlete or work under the auspices of a personal trainer, then you can work without a break between stations.
You can repeat the round several times with a break of 2-5 minutes.
At the gym, seek advice from your trainer, who will show you the program on resistance equipment and cardio equipment.
The principle is the same, of course depending on what we want to achieve.
Determine the number of stations (6-12), work intervals (number of repetitions or time), and rest intervals (between stations and circuit).
Bodyweight: perfect circuit training workout
Most of us aren’t professional runners and our goal is to get body recomposition, more strength, faster metabolism. In this case, I always recommended doing at least 1 strength training circuit workout a week.
- Legs: Squat smith or hack machine 10-15 reps
- Chest: Bench press – (flat dumbbells) 10-15 reps
- Back: lat machine 10-15 repetitions
- Shoulders: Shoulder machine (or dumbbells) 10-15 reps
- Biceps: Alternating dumbbell flexion 12-15 reps
- Triceps: Narrow push ups 12-15 reps
- Abdomen: Sit-ups individual choice 20-25 reps
- Back: Dorsal hyperextension 10-15 repetitions
Rest between stations for 15-30 seconds, and at the end of the round 2-5 minutes. Several laps according to possibilities.
Maximum result with minimum time consumption – it’s a circuit training workout. Don’t have time? Miracles can be done in 30 minutes! And in those 30 minutes, quality warming up is included!
I prefer the variant of circuit-interval training. Here, aerobic and anaerobic intervals alternate. Exercises of strength on devices, with dumbbells, medics, or exercises with one’s own body, with exercises on cardio devices, screws, step-benches, etc. are alternated.
The interval of work at the station lasts 30-60 seconds, and there is no rest between stations! In this way, we achieve maximum burning of excess weight, and at the same time, we gain strength and endurance!
At the end of the round 2-5 minutes of rest.
This is an extremely effective program and this kind of group program is well received everywhere, that is why all fitness professionals doing it!
Example of a 6-station workout (with aerobic and anaerobic part):
Never start any workout, especially circuit training without a quality warm-up. This is a crucial part of training that we must take seriously and never skip!
The warm-up should about 10 minutes and it should cover all the joints and muscles on the body.
The best way to warm up for this kind of circuit training workout is by doing dynamic exercises and some kind of cardio exercises.
If our T-shirt is wet after warming up, it is a sign that we are ready for the main part of the training!
If you are a recreational athlete and have never practiced circuit training, then proceed with caution. You can easily overdo it without being aware of it. So slowly raise the intensity.
You can track your own pace, hire a personal coach or go to circuit training class. It is very good to exercise in pairs if you need extra motivation.
On the other hand, if you wish to avoid the risk of injury and get the fastest results, find an experienced trainer who will dose the load individually just for you.
Few words for the end
As you can see, it’s quite easy to create a perfect circuit training workout. Based on the examples I give you in this blog, you can make your own circuit training and achieve your goals a lot faster.
If you are a beginner in this you probably realize that most of the circuit training combines cardio with other forms of training. This is also what I recommended because I had many benefits thanks to that. You will burn more calories and achieve your fitness goals faster.
Choose exercises that engage big muscle groups, work at your own pace, but out of your comfort zone, following your heart rate and your body’s signs.
By following these steps and doing circuit training regularly I promise you will see much more benefits than you expected.