I don’t know about you but I don’t want vanilla all of the time. Sometimes I need a different flavor, some variety, some sprinkles! The same goes for my workout! One of my favorite ways to incorporate a variety of movements into one exercise session is circuit training. Circuits involve performing 5 to 10 exercises working different parts of the body with minimal rest in between. Circuits can include body weight exercises, weights, resistance bands, weight machines, cardio equipment and many other fitness implements. The combinations are almost endless! The number of circuits completed depends on the amount of time you have. Limited time for exercise? Circuit training may be your answer.
Circuit Training vs. High Intensity Interval Training
Circuit training is different than high intensity interval training (HIIT). While you can combine the two, circuit training focuses on alternating WHAT you are doing while HIIT is about alternating the INTENSITY of what you are doing.
In a circuit session, often you will work upper, lower, core and/or total body in a rotation to allow the previously targeted area to rest a bit while you perform a new exercise. Unless you want to do a circuit that targets one area, which is also an option! You will likely have a cardio effect from the exercises and the intensity may vary. HIIT, on the other hand, can be done with one type of movement or a variety of movement and is all about that cardio. You work at an “all-out” intensity for a specific period of time and then have a recovery period of less intense exercise between the bouts of heavy work. Running, spinning, plyometrics, and calisthenics are often done for the high intensity portion. A HIIT session can include strength based movements. The work-to-rest ratio varies depending on your goals. Both circuit and HIIT can be a fabulous way to incorporate exercise into a busy schedule! If you want to HIIT it, read more here.
Let's Talk More About Circuit!
Benefits of circuit training include improved muscular endurance and aerobic capacity, an element of fun (well, that may depend on your definition fun!) BUT no boredom because you are moving from one exercise to the next with little to no rest! And if you are looking to burn calories/lose body fat, this is one of the most efficient ways to do it.
If you think it's time to add some sprinkles to your workout, and you have been exercising regularly for a few months, you can easily set up a circuit in your own home. All you need is a pair of light to moderate weight dumbbells.
If circuit sounds great but you aren’t sure about doing it on your own, a personal trainer can teach you which exercises would be most appropriate and how to perform them correctly. Then you can do it at home with confidence, if you so desire! Think circuit would be more fun with a trainer and other participants? Join in on the fun Tuesdays at noon May 15 -June 19, 2018. Limited class size so you'll have to reserve your spot!