Circuit training is a fast pace from of body conditioning that is designed to increases your heart rate while strengthening your muscles. It is a fun and entertaining form of fitness that provides maximum results in a minimum amount of time. A circuit is broken down into several workouts (typically five to 10), each working a specific set of muscle groups for a certain number of seconds. When you finish one exercise you move on to the next one that focuses on a different set of muscle groups. While one group is working the other is resting, therefore, there are no formal stops or rest breaks in between workouts. Brilliant, don’t ya think?!
In order to get the best results from a circuit training workout, it is encouraged to work as hard as you can in the time allotted. If you choose to incorporate free weights into your routine, it is recommended to use a set of heavyweights during the strength sets and exert intense cardio energy (about a 7 or an 8 effort on a scale of 1-10) during the cardio exercises.
At IR we love circuit training. Here are our top three reasons why:
- No time nor equipment? No problem! Circuit training is the perfect workout for the those short on time and short on equipment. You can create circuits based off of body weight exercises that require no equipment – push-ups, squats, high knees- or you can amplify the movements by incorporating kettlebells or barbells. You can set up as many or as few stations as you like and you can fit in an effective, total-body workout for at least 15 minutes.
- They increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles all at the same time. This, in turn, provides you with fantastic and fast results. Due to the high intensity and ongoing nature of circuit training, your body gets kicked into a fat burning stage that torches calories and continues working up to 48 hours after the workout has been completed.
- Mind and motivation fuel the body. It is pretty amazing what the human body is capable of and we see it often as we push our limits in circuit training workouts. Not only is our body running on full steam, but our minds are also being tested as well. As you push your way through each circuit, the best way to stay motivated is by cheering yourself on. When mind and body are working in unison, great things happen.
Safety Above All
While we love a good sweaty heart pounding circuit session we must emphasize the importance of doing it safely. Here are some tips we recommend you pay attention to when trying to incorporate circuit training into your routine:
- Don’t jam-pack your circuit with exercises that target the same muscle groups.
- Listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. Circuit training can be intense, but it’s completely adjustable for all fitness levels.
- Mix it up! While circuit training is a great workout it is not the only workout. You will experience faster results if you switch up your routine.