Circuit Training: What is it & How do I Take Part?

Circuit training is a fantastic workout that’s great for everyone, regardless of fitness level. It incorporates a variety of exercises at separate stations and you take part in small groups, taking on each exercise at your own pace. It’s is a great way to help you get in shape, while the friendly nature of the classes means you’re more likely to keep coming back.

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training has been around for ages in various styles, forms and names. Essentially, however, circuits training describes any class that includes you participating in a number of different exercises at different stations within small groups. Circuit training is a great way to get in shape and the social element of it means you’re likely to stay motivated and keep attending than with other group fitness classes or lone exercise sessions.

Typically, you’ll be participating in a circuits class exercise for anywhere between 20 seconds and 90 seconds per rep, per exercise, with a short rest between each rep.

What are the Benefits of Circuit Training?

Circuit training has loads of benefits. These range way from its flexibility, the variety of exercises you get to do and the fact that the social nature of the class makes you more likely to keep coming back.

1. You can work at your own pace

Whatever your fitness level, you can go through the circuit at your own pace, so it’s perfect for everyone, whether you’re a fitness fanatic or someone who’s just getting back into exercise.

2. You get to enjoy a variety of exercises

There’s a huge range of exercises you can enjoy, from free weights, to resistance workouts and cardio vascular exercises. This means that whatever your targets, you can work towards them in a circuits class.

3. It’s a Friendly Environment

You work in groups every session and so the social nature of the class means you’re more likely to keep coming back. You can help keep one another motivated, which means you’re more likely to reach your targets.

4. Great for Burning Calories and Fat

Most circuit exercises are fairly high-intensity and are brilliant for burning excess body fat, so if you want to lose weight, circuit training is a great way to help you achieve this.

5. Circuits are great for making you fitter

As well as helping you lose weight, the intense cardiovascular workout is great for improving your fitness and stamina. This will help you go harder for longer and can even help you prepare for events such as running races, triathlons and cycling events.

6. The classes will help you build muscle

The body weight and free weight exercises included in circuit training are also great for helping to build lean muscle mass. It’ll also help you tone up what you’ve already got.

What Happens in a Circuits Class?

Typically, a circuit training class will consist of a number of different exercise stations being set up around a room. The participants will be split up into groups of two or three people, each starting at one specific station and doing the exercise at that station for a set period of time. Once the time’s passed, you get a short rest and then you move on to the next exercise with the rest of your group. This cycle continues until the class is over and everyone’s completed all the exercises.

Common Circuit Training Exercises

A typical circuit training class will incorporate a number of different exercises and workouts. These include cardiovascular, resistance and weight training. This is to ensure it gives you a balanced session and helps you reach your targets as quickly as possible.

You’re likely to begin with gentle cardio warm-up circuit to get you ready to go. Once you’re warmed up, you’re likely to do a selection of total body training exercises. These could include burpees, squats and jumping jacks, while you’ll also do upper body strength exercises including push ups, dumbbell exercises and bench dips.

You’ll also do some lower body workouts too, including lunges and squats, while circuit classes will include core exercises such as sit ups, crunches and bicycle kicks. Once you’ve completed your circuit a number of times, you’ll do a gentle warm down and then you’re done!

What’s the Difference Between Circuit Training and Interval Training?

While both circuit training and interval training are similar, there are in fact some fundamental differences between them. Firstly, circuit training involves participating in a number of different exercises, whereas interval training is completing the same exercise multiple times. Intervals are also almost exclusively based on aerobic exercise whereas circuits can involve aerobic activities as well as strength training.

What do I Need to Take Part?

You don’t need any specialist equipment to take part in a circuit training class. Just bring yourself, a bottle of water and a towel with you. All the equipment will be provided by the centre. Just be sure to wear a pair of trainers and loose, comfortable exercise clothing.

Can Anyone Take Part?

Circuit training is specifically designed to ensure anyone can join in and take advantage of all the benefits. You can take each exercise at your own pace, building up the intensity as you get fitter. Meanwhile, you can also vary your commitment to each station, depending on how confident you are with each exercise. If you have any injuries or medical conditions, it’s worthwhile letting your instructor know.

If you’d like to give circuit training a go, book a class now, or find your nearest centre here.