May is National Physical Fitness Month! Are you just starting a work-out routine? Trying to build muscle and burn calories? Don’t have much time at the gym? Circuit training is a fun and fast way to get in shape and stay healthy.
What is it? Circuit training is a combination of strength and endurance training. It is designed to be easy to follow and each exercise targets different muscles. In circuit training, one completes multiple exercises from a prescribed group or list. That completion of the exercises is called a circuit. Usually, each exercise is performed as quickly as you can for a set number of repetitions or period of time before moving on to the next exercise. Circuit training is typically done with little to no rest between each exercise. Exercises are performed right after another. Depending on your fitness level, you might complete one circuit or several circuits during each workout. You can also make your workouts as hard or as easy as you like by modifying the amount of resistance, repetitions, and length of rest time between each circuit.
“If you’re beginning an exercise program for the first time, circuit training may be an ideal choice. Circuit training can be less intimidating than going full-throttle with a weight training routine. Circuit training conditions the body, preparing it for a more advanced exercise program down the road. Circuit training will help orient you to a fit lifestyle”.
What are the benefits and what does a routine look like?
10 Benefits of Circuit Training:
- An effective means of improving muscular endurance.
- May be easily structured to provide a whole body workout.
- Participants normally work in small groups, allowing beginners to be guided by more experienced individuals, as well as benefiting from the supervision of the instructor.
- Can be adapted for any size workout area.
- Can be customized for specificity; easy to adapt to your sport.
- Has the potential to burn more calories than conventional aerobic exercise or strength training, both during and post-workout.
- Circuit training workouts are effective and efficient on a short time period. Workouts can be completed in as little as 10 minutes.
- Circuit training can be done outside of the gym and without weights or equipment.
- You can exercise different muscle groups to get a total-body workout.
- You are less likely to become bored with your workout routine since you are doing a variety of exercises.
Here’s an example of a <20minute workout that can be done at home (or outside in nice weather! No machines required!):
- Warm-up (fast walking) – 5 minutes
- Jumping jacks – 2 minutes
- Push ups – 1 minute
- Jogging – 5 minute
- Abdominal crunches- 2 minute
- Squats – 1 minute
- Pull-ups – 1 minute
- Lunges – 30 seconds each leg
For more work out and health tips, check out: