Circuit Training is an exercise program which simultaneously develops cardiovascular and strength fitness. A circuit series is comprised of a group of exercises done in succession, using different muscle groups, with very short rest periods in between. The two main attractions to this form of exercise structure is the lack of boredom one might feel from a continuous exercise like running, walking or bicycling. And, because your heart rate is up in your target rate during the entire session, you can exercise on a shorter time-table with a higher degree of benefit.
* Both top athletes and beginners can work together. There is no stigma for a beginner to work at his/her own pace along with an more experienced person at the same workout stations.
* The fitness of the cardiovascular system is benefited to a larger degree from short bursts of exercise.
* Circuit training builds a good “overall” body tone and strength.
* By rotating exercises you will burn more fat than a single exercise for the same duration.
*Most times circuit training uses compound exercises, using more than one muscle group at a time. These type of exercises have proven to be more beneficial than working on one muscle group at a time.
*Time constraints are taken into account as you get a higher physical benefit in a shorter amount of time.
* There are both gym locations that incorporate circuit training, with between 6 and 12 stations, and programs for home use. An elliptical trainer, is the name of the trainer that puts such programs together.
* Once you can complete a particular circuit training with ease you can increase the number of intervals of exercises, go through the circuit more than once, increase the speed of an activity, shorten or eliminate rest periods. In this way the exercise program is never boring and your training always has the ability to be increased.
Basic Circuit Training Program
In a starting program, do as many of each exercise as you can within a 30 second period. When comfortable, increase the time period of exercising to 60 seconds.
1. Squats, rest for 30 seconds
2. Push-ups, rest for 30 seconds
3. Sit-ups, rest for 30 seconds
4. Lunges, rest for 30 seconds
5. Run in place for 30 seconds
6. Repeat from step 1
Types of Circuits
Competition Circuit Training: When using circuit training for competition purposes you will want to continually try to increase the number of repetitions done in the particular time frame. For example, you may start with 12 squats and increase to 14.
Repetition Circuit Training: This type of training is meant for large groups of people, with different fitness levels, working together. The specific time, 30 or 60 seconds is adhered to strictly. Each person does the amount of repetitions within that time period that they are able at their fitness level.
Running Circuit Training: Between each set of exercises, instead of resting, you would do an “easy” run for 200 to 400 meters. When stamina is built up, this can be changed to a fast 400 meter run. This sort of training is best done out doors because of the area required.
As a beginner, you may get very fired-up, because of time constraints, and work yourself too hard resulting in stiff, sour muscles. Be easy with yourself in the beginning. Increase your speed and number of repetitions slowly.
Warming up and cooling down are very important. Take time to do a proper warm up, including some light stretching and a cool down of easy walking.