Probably every person who has thought about how to lose weight correctly has already come across the term circuit training. Watch a short video with an examples of circuit training, and after we will discuss main principles, advantages and disadvantages of this technique.
The circuit exercise program shown in the video includes:
? Double Jumps
? Weighted Punches
? Quick Sprints
? Step Up Lunges
? And more.
Why these exercises and why in this order? Why not so big weights and not so many reps? Because it is a circuit workout!
What Are The Principles Of Circuit Training?
✅ Exercise Selection
There should be four to eight exercises, depending on your fitness level.
The selection of exercises should be structured so that loads from one drill were on muscles that lie as far as possible from those loaded by the previous. That leads to a significant increase in blood circulation in your body, causing a heart rate boost. As a result, high calorie consumption, a noticeable increase in metabolism, and raised metabolic response of the body. Are you still there? ?
Each exercise of a circuit should be in a different body position. For example, after the squats, perform an exercise lying down or in a bend. And next goes a drill in an upright position. That greatly stimulates the metabolism and promotes weight loss.
A circuit workout can include both dynamic and static exercises. You can also add running or other cardio exercises.
✅ Circuit Training Equipment
Exercising in a circuit can be done with a variety of equipment to stimulate your body – barbells, dumbbells, trainers, kettlebells, and your weight
However, in some cases, you can do with one or two types of equipment, for example, in training at home with dumbbells, kettlebells, at the stadium.
✅ A Circle Of Exercises
One circle is a sequence of several exercises, performed with almost no pauses for rest. You only rest on your way to the next equipment.
Perform at least 3-6 circles per circuit workout. However, you should approach this number gradually over about 2-4 weeks, increasing the number of circles from one to the desired number.
✅ How Much To Rest Between Circles?
Rest for 2-3 minutes between circles up to 4 minutes at most. If you need more time, it means that the load was too high for your current fitness level.
By the next set, your heart rate must fall at least to 110-105 bpm. Your breathing can be your guide. If you are not breathing normally, you won’t finish the new set due to a lack of oxygen.
✅ Adequate Weight
I highly recommend reducing the weight on equipment by 20-40% of your regular strength training, even if you are already a very experienced lifter. Reduce weight for at least the first few sets, or you won’t make it to the end of the circuit workout, and your heart rate will be very high.
✅ Recovery Between Circuit Training Sessions
Circuit training, just like pure strength training, takes time to recover. Do not perform it every day, especially if it is very intensive. In general, two days of rest is quite enough to recover.
✅ Number Of Reps In Exercises
Do an increased number of repetitions in exercises. Usually, it is 12-20 or more reps.
✅ Avoid doing circuit workouts all the time
Doing circuit training for long periods is not acceptable. It will quickly lead to exhaustion and overtraining. So, train this way for 1-2 months, then do another type of training for another 1-2 months. And then go back to circuit training if necessary.
Advantages Of Circuit Training
With circuit training, it is unlikely to gain dense muscle mass. But! You will increase your endurance, lose weight, improve your muscle shape and tone, and improve your overall athleticism.
Of course, if you have never worked out before, you will get a noticeable muscle gain. But I do not recommend circuit training until you have thoroughly trained for at least two months on the initial set.
By the way, in circuit training, you can use not only dynamic strength exercises but also static, isometric, Yoga asanas, exercises on cardio machines, with your weight, weight lifting exercises, and many others.
Circuit training can be binary, meaning you can only use two exercises that load opposite muscle groups. A circle, in this case, might look like this:
? Push-ups on bars
? Push-ups on bars
? Push-ups on bars
Then rest, and the circuit repeats.
Circuit training can be based on an interval training scheme. That means that the intensity of the first exercise in a circle is low, the second is high, the third is low, and the fourth is high again.
The circuit training scheme does not exclude the application of all known systems of strength training, including the principle of progressive overload (gradual increase in weight on dumbbells and barbells), supersets, pyramids, forced reps, cheating, and others.
Disadvantages of circuit training
I know only one disadvantage – you need to have access to various exercise equipment. And that is not always possible. For example, you need dumbbells and a barbell for your circuit training. But at peak hours, when there are people in the gym, the chances that needed equipment is taken is very high.
And in this disadvantage, oddly enough, hides another advantage of circuit training. It’s a development of your charm, communication, and negotiation skills. Otherwise, you won’t get your barbell! ?
As you can see, there are a lot of advantages in circuit training and only one disadvantage, which you can neglect. Use circuit training for your health and get great results! ?