Circuit Training Workouts
training is a great way to strengthen many different muscles within one
workout. You can also do an endurance circuit that combines
strengthening exercises with short spurts of aerobics.
By combining both strength training with
short spurts of aerobic exercises you are getting the benefits of
building muscles and burning calories and fat.
circuit may consist of 10 to 12 repetitions of a strength training
exercise followed by a short period of rest.
If you are doing an endurance circuit, you would replace the rest
period with some cardio for a set period of time.
The aerobic sections of the circuit can be from a fast walk to a high
intense running or jump roping as an example.
The shorter the aerobic set the higher the
Similar to interval
, endurance circuit training combines both anaerobic
in the form of the strength training and aerobic routines
like jump rope or brisk walk or jog.
Interval training is
typically all aerobic forms of exercise with spurts of high intense
activities like sprinting or running. During the sprint or run, the
routine becomes anaerobic.
Circuit training however focuses more on the anaerobic strength
training exercises with spurts of aerobic exercises or periods of rest
if it's just a strengthening workout.
beginners, start with a shorter circuit incorporating 4 to 5 strength
training exercises with spurts of aerobic exercises (for endurance ) or
short periods of rest in
For intermediate and advanced levels, you would add additional
of strength training. For these levels, anywhere from 6 - 12 different
strengthening moves would be a typical workout.
Below are examples of circuit workouts for beginners, intermediate and
Beginner Example Circuit Training Workout Rountines
Before starting any of the below circuits, make
sure to warm up and
The first example uses resistance
for the strength training.
or a home gym as well or just use body weight to
second example uses dumbbell weights, but again you can substitute
these for what you have available. Just do what is comfortable for you
to start with.
Each example below are for beginning levels.
Below each workout example are adjustments to make them either an
intermediate or advanced level routine.
Example Workout #1
Example Workout #2
Circuit Workout 1
This circuit training example will require a jump rope and resistance
band. If you don't have these available, just use to the moves as if
you had these pieces of equipment.
or jog in place for about 5 minutes and stretch before starting your
circuit training routine.
both legs on the resistance band and pull the band up to your
shoulders. Now sit back on your heels and bend like you are
As you come back up, tighten your glutes to get the
this move. Repeat for 60 to 90 seconds.
a typical circuit, use this 60 seconds for a rest period.
If you are doing an endurance circuit, jump rope for a one minute.
a jump rope or without a rope, jump with both feet together about
an inch or so off the floor.
both hands and feet on the ground in a four point position.
Place the resistance band around your right leg and hold it with your
Now kick your right leg back and up until fully
Bring your right leg back to where your knee is bent without placing it
back on the floor.
Repeat this for 30 seconds and then switch
repeat for 30 seconds with the left leg.
|1 min (rest)
the endurance workout, walk
in place at a brisk pace for 60 seconds. Now run in place at
fast pace for 30 seconds. Bring it back to a brisk
If you are not doing an endurance circuit, take a 60 second rest period.
the resistance band under your right foot, bring the bands straight up
to your shoulders.
Place your left foot behind you with toes on the ground. Bend both
knees until your right leg is even with the floor.
Stand back up to end this move. Repeat
this for 60 seconds.
this time to either do a rest period or jump rope.
on the floor on your hands and knees. Place the band around your right
foot and hold it both ends with your right hand.
Kick your right leg out and up until the knee is straight.
Do this for 30 seconds and then repeat for 30 seconds on the other leg.
||Use this time for a rest
period. For endurance circuit, run in place at
a fast pace for 60 seconds.
you are only doing Circuit I, then now is the time to do your cool
down. Walk or march in place for 5 minutes.
Remember to stretch your
muscles after your cool down.
20 min (endurance)
circuit training workout is 18 minutes (for typical) and 20 minutes for
the endurance circuit.
The above example is a circuit with emphasis on the lower body.
Each time you do a circuit, add different strengthening moves to work
all muscles with an emphasis on a certain group.
For instance, one circuit could include tricep curls, bicep curls,
shoulder raise and chest press to work the upper body.
Another example would be to include abdominal and core exercises in
your circuit training.
You can mix and match however you want to fit
your schedule and equipment. Mix it up throughout the week so
that you never get bored with your workouts.
Circuit Training 2
Here is another example workout using circuit training intervals with
an emphasis on the upper body. You
can always substitute dumbbells with resistance bands or just
use your own body weight for the stengthening sessions.
or jog in place for about 5 minutes. Then stretch your
muscles before starting your circuit training.
|1 1/2 min
||Using a 2 - 5 lb dumbbell, place it in your right hand,
holding your arm straight up by your ear.
at the elbow, and keeping your arm next to your ear, drop your arm
behind your head. Bring it back to starting position.
Do this for 45 seconds and repeat on the other side for 45 seconds.
1 1/2 min
for 1 minute or Jog
or run in place for 60 to 90 seconds at a fast pace for endurance
||1 1/2 min
2 dumbbells, grab one in each hand. Stand with feet
shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells palm up at your
Bring your arms down until the elbows are almost straight. Return to
Repeat this for 90 seconds.
for 1 minute for typical circuit.
For endurance circuit, jump rope for 1 minute
||1 1/2 min
||Holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing down,
place feet slightly apart.
and your waist with arms hanging down. Bending your elbows, lift both
arms brining the weights up towards your chest. Return to starting
Repeat this for 90 seconds.
3 1/2 min
a 1 minute rest if you are doing a typical circuit.
briskly for 90 seconds. Now step up the pace and run in place
a high speed for 30 seconds. Then slow it down to
walk for 90 seconds.
||1 1/2 min
dumbbell in each hand with palms facing down. With elbows bent, place
your hands next to your chest with elbows back and behind you.
Bring your arms out in front of you until dumbbells touch each other.
Return to starting position.
for 90 seconds.
doing an endurance circuit, then jump rope for 60 seconds. If you are
doing a typical circuit, then go to the cool down.
or march in place for 5 minutes. Remember to stretch your
muscles after your cool down.
total time for a typical circuit (with only the rest periods) is 19
The endurance circuit training workout totals 23 minutes.
The above circuit workout adds a few more minutes to both the
strengthening exercises as well as the aerobics. So if you
feel you are ready to move things up a notch, then try this workout.
You can always add or substitute different strengthening and aerobic
exercises with the ones in this example. For instance, add some
abdominal exercises to tone your stomach or even back strengthening
moves. Try some jumping jacks as an aerobic step to mix it up a bit.
Intermediate/ Advanced Levels
Using the above circuit training workout examples, you can turn them
into either an advanced level or intermediate. Just make some
adjustments to the segments and/or do the circuits for multiple rounds.
Below are some suggestions to take the above examples to the next
an intermediate circuit training workout, add 3 - 5 more strengthening
moves for a 1 minute period. Don't forget to add in your rest periods
can add additional upper or lower body moves (depending on the primary
focus of each workout). You can also combine the lower body and upper
body strength training into one session by completing both the above
examples one time each.
If you want it to also include endurance training, add 1 - 3
minutes of aerobics between each of the strength training exercises.
As an alternative, you can just go through the above example twice to
move it up to an intermediate level workout.
you really want to rev up these workout routines, take it to the
level. You can either add at least 6 - 10 more strength training
exercises for the above examples.
you would like to combine both upper and lower body strengthening, then
just use the above examples and go through each circuit completely.
Then repeat a second time to make it an advanced workout.
Keep your rest period to no more than 1 minute. You can even try for
only 30 seconds of rest for the advanced level.
the endurance version, add a set of aerobics after each strengthening
exercise. The aerobic segments should be from 1 - 5 minutes in length
at medium to medium/high intensity.
Another way to take this to the advanced level is to just repeat the
above circuit 3 or 4 times.
Check out these abdominal exercises to add to your next circuit
to mix up the different muscles each time you do a new circuit training
workout. These examples only cover a handful of lower and upper body
toning. So be sure to add some core muscles and different moves when
designing your weekly workouts.
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