Adding More Fun to Your Workouts
A group gym
exercise method in which endurance
exercises (those that increase endurance and stamina) are combined with strength exercises
(those that develop the size and strength of skeletal muscles) is known
as circuit training.
In circuit training, stations are positioned around the
facility, with each one focusing on a different exercise – sit-ups,
pushups, resistance training, weight training, and others.
Participating individuals are
assigned to each station for mini-workouts of 8-20 repetitions each,
and rotate to the next station with little or no rest in between those
15-45 second turns.
This goes on until all stations have been tackled by a
participant (one complete circuit) or until a pre-specified time period.
The program may consist of exercise machines,
calisthenics, elastic resistance, hand-held weights, or a combination
of any of these. Between each station, a 30-second to 3-minute
aerobics workout is squeezed in to improve the participant’s
This program was developed in 1953 by G.T. Anderson and R.E.
Morgan in London and originally comprised 9-12 stations. Today, any
number of stations can be employed, according to the circuit’s design.
This type of workout is preferred by those who want to get an intensive strength and
resistance training because the in-between rests are eliminated
to take the participant to her maximum target heart rate as well as her
maximum physical effort.
Others turn to circuit
training simply for the variety.
If you’ve been solely on the treadmill for months, or have never
tried anything other than the stepper, then circuit training can
definitely keep you from getting bored with exercising.
Dr. Len Kravitz, a researcher at the University of Mexico and
Program Coordinator of Exercise Science, believes that “variety” of the
stimulus to muscle is important, and that if these stimuli are
not regularly changed, the benefits gained in muscular or strength
endurance will eventually plateau.
What are the advantages of circuit training?
- Circuit training is
flexible.If you’ve got time constraints, a total-body workout
can be finished in roughly 10 minutes. If more time is available, you
can finish up to four circuits, which would total about 45 minutes.
- Circuit training is challenging and can be
A study on unfit female college students concluded that those who were
involved in circuit training improved in several aspects of body image
more than those who only trained aerobically (Anshel, et al., Journal
of Sport Behavior, 2006).
- Circuit training
involves a very quick pace that is great for fat-burning.
- Circuit training can
be fashioned to
whatever fitness level you’re in – whether you’re an expert or
beginner, you can work out at an intensity that suits you.
- Circuit training can be done either at
your home or in the gym.