Circuit Training

by: Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN


Circuit training is definitely one of the best and most time efficient ways of getting in shape and losing weight fast! In this article, I'm going to give you everything you need to know about circuit training including what it is, why it works, when to do it, and 3 free workouts! Ready?


What is Circuit Training?

Very simply, it is a method of fitness training that involves moving from one exercise to another with little to no rest between each. There are literally thousands of possible circuit protocols, but to give you an idea of of a typical circuit workout let's consider using 6 exercises (whichever ones you want). In this sample workout routine, you would perform each exercise for 30 seconds and take 30 seconds rest between each. Make sense? You could then repeat this for 2-3 sets.

Following such a workout would take you anywhere from 24-32 minutes (depending on the number of sets chosen). Can you begin to see how incredibly quick that is? Most people spend at least an hour in the gym. I don't understand it.


Why it Works

As we have just seen, circuit training workouts can be very quick. That's a good thing because it inherently means that you'll be pushing your body at a higher intensity because you're "on the clock" and not wasting time between exercises (like most people do).

To make matters even more interesting, if you choose full body exercises with weights that only allow 8-10 reps, you will be harder and more efficiently than ever. You will be building strength and burning fat, at the same time. The reason for this is that the more muscle you involve in a movement and the more forcefully those muscles have to contract (ie. using heavier weights), the more oxygen your body will need to execute the exercise. Since you burn 5 calories for every liter of O2 consumed, this can be a very powerful training method for losing weight fast!

The other amazing benefit to using circuit training workouts is that they also serve as tremendous cardio workouts as well. You might be saying, "what?". Well, if you have heart rate monitor or know how to take your pulse, you will quickly see just how high your heart rate can climb during these full body, little rest workouts. At first this may be a little hard to comprehend but just give it a try and you'll see exactly what I mean.


When to Use Circuit Training

If your goal is to lose weight or get in shape then I would suggest doing a circuit training workout every other day, which means 3-4 times per week. Because these workouts will target all of your body's muscles you don't need to hit the gym 5-6 days per week like others who use "split routines". For optimal performance, results, and recovery you'll want to allow at least 1 day rest between workouts so that you don't overtrain your body. Got it?


3 Circuit Training Workouts to Get You Started

Here are the 3 of my favourite circuit training workouts that you can use to start losing weight and to get in the best shape of your life.

Beginner Workout



Intermediate Workout



Advanced Workout




--> Click here for more great circuit training workouts!


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