What is Circuit Training?
Circuit Training is one of the most diverse exercise sessions available, easily adapted for any training goal. Circuit sessions will always feature a selection of well-chosen exercises in a specific order, relative to the desired training goal. The ‘frequency’, that’s the time you work and rest for is also well calculated for the desired goal, if it’s a HIIT session, you’ll likely have 1:2 up to 1:4 ratio work/rest depending on the intensity of each round. A more general session will likely have station times of 45 seconds to one minute with no more than one-minute rest between each station.
Circuit Training can incorporate almost any training technique and be targeted specificity for individuals and groups goals, a circuit training session for a football team will be different from a general population session aimed at everyone. Most sessions you’ll see advertised from gyms, health clubs, studio’s and personal trainers will be generic circuit training sessions. These sessions will include a variety of exercises using intensities suitable for all abilities and designed for general body conditioning, fat burning & fitness. Unless specifically advertised as something else such as HIIT Circuits, Tabata Circuits or Ski Circuits etc expect the session to be general conditioning.
Circuit training sessions are normally designed around full-body movements with a good mixture of resistance, cardiovascular, upper & lower body exercises for full-body conditioning and fat burning sessions. Although no specific goal is in mind with these sessions, they are designed to burn maximum calories and raise fitness levels. The great thing about circuits is that exercise intensity is easily raised or lowered, this means mixed classes and sessions are possible. You can go at your own pace in a circuits sessions, push yourself if you want to and reduce the intensity as you fatigue.
How will you benefit
In most cases there is no reason why you could not plan a circuits session for yourself or grab one from the internet, however; going to a group Circuit Training session will save you time and it’ll be planned for you with motivation and technique correction from an experienced trainer.
- Planned by an exercise professional
Instructors are qualified fitness professionals, experienced with knowledge of energy systems, training techniques and exercises to deliver the desired result from their session. These sessions are not just thrown out at random. A good instructor will always plan their circuit sessions in advance.
- Technique Correction
Instructors have an eagle eye, they know exactly what each exercise should look like for each exercise progression and they have a better view than you do! (providing they are not doing the circuit). You know their worth their weight in gold when they ask you to move slightly and it starts to hurt and now, you feel it. You will be constantly watched for correct technique to ensure you get maximum results from every exercise in the circuit.
Being shouted at with a loud speaker is not what we mean, it’s that pat on the back, the silent well done and the self believe the instructor instils in you that makes you believe you can do it and you can do more.
- Increased Fitness
The structure of circuit training with fast transitions and little rest build on the endurance of your cardiovascular system. This type of interval training has proven to burn more fat than constant pace training even in the fat burning zone. This type of training will take your rate to the fat burning zone or above during periods of work, followed by a short period of rest reducing heart rate provides a start/stop routine which places demand on your cardiovascular system. Overtime time your body adapts to the stimulus and becomes more efficient at dealing with it and therefore ‘fitter’
- Increased muscle tone & definition
Strength training through resisted movements including bodyweight, dumbbells, medicine balls and power bags etc provide weighted resistance training stimulating muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle fibre density & size). This leads to defined and toned muscle shape together with increased endurance & strength.
- Reduce Body Fat
Interval training is widely popular, this type of training allows you to train at higher intensities burning more calories and engaging energy systems that burn fat.