Circuit Training

Circuit Style TrainingCircuit training involves moving from one exercise to another in quick succession. A circuit typically consists of five to 10 exercises performed for 30 to 90 seconds each. You can create a circuit to meet almost any exercise goal. A circuit training workout helps you expedite your workout and builds endurance because it leaves no time for rest between exercises. While a circuit might include any one of hundreds of exercises, the workouts fall into several specific categories.

Continuing on this week sharing different types and styles of training, I’m excited to bring the spotlight in on Circuit Training!  Circuit training is basically moving from one exercise to another. Most of the time this occurs in a quick series. A circuit can consist of a range of exercised performed for 30 to 90 seconds each. What I love so much about circuit training is the variety, the quickness and best of all, the ability to mix it up to meet any goal you have for yourself.  You can focus in on building muscle and strength, you can focus on endurance training or you can integrate both.  There really is no wrong way to circuit train and this style of training will help you grow!

I also love circuit training for its ability to move your workout along while keeping you engaged and pushing yourself throughout.  Circuit training can be done in the gym, at home (literally you an do a whole circuit training set at home) or even on a playground for that matter.

Lets take a look at a few different ways you can effectively circuit train:

Cardio Circuits

Lets be honest, for many of us cardio isn’t our favorite... In my opinion doing a cardio circuit can really be a catalyst for a solid, calorie torching cardio workout without having the monotony of some of the regular cardio methods we get bored over. Try integrating a HIIT workout with 5-10 exercises, or doing sprints/burst training in an interval format.  You could even try alternating a couple of cardio training machines for the same kind of burst training in five minute increments… there truly is SO many ways you can get a killer cardio workout in with your heart rate pumping by training in a cardio circuit format.

Strength Circuits

Strength training is my “home” in the gym.  There is nothing better than a great lifting session in my eyes - so strength circuits are one of my favorites! This is a circuit style that focuses on weight training and strength based exercises.  You can do this in the weight room using free weights, the weight machines of course or you can try using your own body weight. Or actually, you can do a combination of any or all of these.

Or Combine The Two!

Strength & Cardio Circuits

If you want MAJOR calorie burn in a short amount of time this could be your soulmate workout style.  Integrating cardio with your strength-training session will keep your heart rate up and your boredom level low. Here you would focus on a strength training move like lunges with weights and then immediately move to a cardio move like jumping jacks or box jumps. Followed by another strength training move like squats, onto another cardio move like sprints, and so on! Here you want to focus on the full body or you can focus in on one specific body part (i.e.: legs) and work on alternating leg day weight training moves with alternating cardio.

Lastly- check out a great idea for your inner athlete!

Sport-Specific (from

“A sport-specific circuit would be designed for athletes looking to improve their performance in a particular sport. For example, a running circuit might include leg and core strengthening exercisers interspersed among half-mile race pace runs on the treadmill. Other sport-specific circuits include kickboxing circuits -- alternating core, shoulder and gluteal strength-moves with punching and kicking segments -- and football circuits -- alternating agility drills with weight training.”

The key to keeping things moving and staying motivated when it comes to working out is to keep things FRESH, FUN and engaging.  Up the ante and try something new, even if its just once a week— see how Circuit Training just might be a great fit for your lifestyle in or outside the gym!