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What Is Circuit Training And Is It Right For You?

Published April 15, 2019 (Revised: August 09, 2019)
what-is-circuit-training-and-is-it-right-for-you
<article> <section> <p align="justify">Circuit training is an effective workout method for adding muscle, burning calories, and losing weight. Using stations and full-body exercises, you can get a great workout in less than 30 minutes using circuit workouts.</p> <p align="justify">But there are so many types of fitness workouts—interval training, circuits, CrossFit and more. You may be asking yourself what is circuit training? Is it right for me?</p> <p align="justify">You aren’t alone! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.</p> <p align="justify">In this article we will give you a full breakdown of circuit training, how it compares with workouts like CrossFit, and if circuit workouts will help you reach your goals. Let’s dive in!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Is Circuit Training?</header> <p align="justify">Circuit training is a type of workout where you do one exercise for a period of time, take a break, then switch to another exercise. Circuit workouts use a fixed amount of time for each exercise.</p> <p align="justify">An easy way to remember circuit training is to think of it as <i>station training</i>. Each “station” you rotate to in a circuit training workout is an exercise, and all the exercises you do make up your circuit workout.</p> <div class="sub-head">Example of A Circuit Training Workout</div> <p align="justify">For example, you might decide to do a circuit workout using four <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-best-full-body-workout-for-weight-loss/"rel="noreferrer"><b>full-body exercises</b></a>. Such as <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups/"rel="noreferrer"><b>push-ups</b></a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups/"rel="noreferrer"><b>squats</b></a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/shop/"rel="noreferrer"><b>planks</b></a>, and a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/7-low-impact-cardio-exercises/"rel="noreferrer"><b>cardio exercise</b></a> like burpee walkouts.</p> <p align="justify">You might decide to do a “30 on, 30 off” circuit workout. This means you’ll do as many repetitions of each exercise as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. While you rest, rotate to the next “station” or exercise.</p> <p align="justify">If you did two full rounds of this workout, you’d have done an eight minute circuit training workout.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/clock-timer-circuit-training-0138.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/clock-timer-circuit-training-0138.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/clock-timer-circuit-training-0138.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/clock-timer-circuit-training-LR-0138.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="clock-timer-circuit-training"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Is Circuit Training Good For You?</header> <p align="justify">Yes! Actually, circuit training is <i>great</i> for you. This type of interval training is unique because it’s good for muscle and strength training <i>plus</i> increasing your aerobic fitness. You can <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/top-7-post-workout-foods-for-lean-muscle/"rel="noreferrer"><b>add lean muscle</b></a> and increase your cardio all in one workout!</p> <p align="justify">his is because you are working against a clock at each station to get as many reps as you can. The setup of circuit training naturally raises your heart rate as you exercise.</p> <p align="justify">Circuit training is also great because you can scale it to your current fitness level. There are no requirements for which exercises must go in circuit workouts. But there are some guidelines for circuit exercises.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-plank-up-0138.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-plank-up-0138.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-plank-up-0138.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-plank-up-LR-0138.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="tyler-plank-up"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Are The Best Circuit Training Exercises?</header> <p align="justify">The best circuit training workouts use full-body, compound exercises. Because full-body exercises use many muscles at one time, your heart rate naturally increases. The reward is an aerobic <i>and</i> muscle-building workout.</p> <p align="justify">Some examples of full-body exercises include:</p> <ul> <li>Squats (and the many variations like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/7-low-impact-cardio-exercises/"rel="noreferrer"><b>sit to stands</b></a>) <li>Push-ups (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-best-low-impact-exercises-for-seniors/"rel="noreferrer"><b>wall push-ups</b></a> if you can’t do regular ones) <li>Cardio exercises (which can be <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/7-low-impact-cardio-exercises/"rel="noreferrer"><b>low-impact</b></a> and done even with <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-low-impact-exercises-for-bad-knees/"rel="noreferrer"><b>bad knees</b></a>) <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/plank-exercises-to-activate-your-core/"rel="noreferrer"><b>Planks</b></a> <li>Other lower body exercises that use the hips, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-3-best-hamstring-workouts/"rel="noreferrer"><b>hamstrings</b></a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/glutes-101-best-exercises-for-your-gluteus-maximus/"rel="noreferrer"><b>glutes</b></a> </ul> <p align="justify">You also want to pick exercises that are easy to transition to and from. Tons of workout equipment or required floor space will overcomplicate your circuit workouts. </p> <p align="justify">For these reasons, bodyweight exercises are the most ideal for circuit workouts.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Often Should You Do Circuit Training?</header> <p align="justify">Depending on your current fitness level, you might do circuit workouts two or three times per week. You <i>could</i> do more, but keep in mind that <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/why-hiit-isnt-the-answer/"rel="noreferrer"><b>high-intensity exercise</b></a> takes time to recover from. </p> <p align="justify">If you are new to working out, focus on two to three good circuit training sessions per week. Using good form, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/"rel="noreferrer"><b>eating good food</b></a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/hydration-how-much-water-should-you-be-drinking/"rel="noreferrer"><b>drinking water</b></a> after so your muscles recover.</p> <p align="justify">If you have been working out for a while you can probably get away with up to four circuit training sessions per week. We recommend you start with three and add a long walk (which are <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/10-reasons-why-walking-is-the-best-exercise/"rel="noreferrer"><b>super beneficial</b></a>) in for a fourth workout if you get antsy.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Circuit Training vs. Interval Training</header> <p align="justify">What’s the difference between circuit and interval training—or are they the same thing?</p> <p align="justify">Remember, circuit training uses stations. You’re usually rotating from one exercise to the next and working on the same clock for each exercise (i.e. 45 seconds of exercise, then 30 seconds of rest).</p> <p align="justify">Interval training is similar in that you’re exercising then resting. But you might not use multiple exercises in an interval workout. For example, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/"rel="noreferrer"><b>high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</b></a> workouts might use the same exercise for all eight sets.</p> <p align="justify">They’re close, but circuit training uses multiple exercises and rotates from one station to the next. That’s not always the case with interval training.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/man-lifting-weight-in-gym-0138.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/man-lifting-weight-in-gym-0138.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/man-lifting-weight-in-gym-0138.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/man-lifting-weight-in-gym-LR-0138.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="man-lifting-weight-in-gym"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Is Circuit Training The Same As CrossFit?</header> <p align="justify">Circuit training is a specific type of muscle-building and aerobic exercise. It uses stations and specific time lengths to signal when to move from one exercise to the next.</p> <p align="justify">CrossFit is a popular fitness workout done at a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/why-people-are-choosing-boutique-fitness-studios/"rel="noreferrer"><b>boutique gym</b></a>. They incorporate circuit workouts sometimes, but not always. CrossFit built its brand around being good at <i>all</i> types of fitness. One day you might lift weights, the next gymnastics, the next you might combine both into a circuit.</p> <p align="justify">You <i>might</i> do a circuit in CrossFit, but it’s not guaranteed, which makes the two different.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Is Circuit Training Right For You?</header> <p align="justify">Circuit training is right for you if your goals are to increase muscle and improve your aerobic fitness. If your goal is to lose weight, circuit training workouts are a natural fit.</p> <p align="justify">We’ve talked before about how adding muscle is a long-term investment for <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/"rel="noreferrer"><b>weight loss</b></a>. Lean muscle burns more calories even when you’re just sitting around the house. It’s much easier to shed unwanted pounds (and keep them off) when you add lean muscle to your body through exercise.</p> <p align="justify">High-intensity workouts that use full-body movements are also great for losing weight. Working hard during an interval or circuit workout boosts your metabolism for up to 24 hours— burning more calories.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Circuit Training and Warrior Made Workouts</header> <p align="justify">So, are circuit training workouts aligned with what we believe in for reaching your goals?</p> <p align="justify">The answer: <i>yes</i>! We promote simple-but-effective at-home workouts that only take about twenty minutes per day. You can find some on our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjFDJI4B4l16uujibduMFA"rel="noreferrer"><b>YouTube channel</b></a> and the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/"rel="noreferrer"><b>exercise section</b></a> of our blog. </p> <p align="justify">You can do circuit workouts at home with no equipment. They’re easily modified to meet your current fitness level, and are most effective when they’re made up of full-body exercises. In terms of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/"rel="noreferrer"><b>body transformations</b></a> through exercise, circuit workouts check all the boxes!</p> <p align="justify">Become a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/"rel="noreferrer"><b>Warrior Made member</b></a> and get at home workouts three times a week, plus support from hundreds of other people aspiring to achieve their health and fitness goals!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.dummies.com/health/exercise/what-is-circuit-training/"rel="noreferrer">WHAT IS CIRCUIT TRAINING?</a></li> </section> </article>

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