Circuit style training involves completing a number of different exercises with minimal rest in between. This type of training is appealing for many reasons including it engages your entire body, is a quick workout, and does not require any equipment. There are some serious health benefits of circuit training that you absolutely need to know.
Health Benefits of Circuit Training
1. Get maximum results in minimum time
Unless fitness is your job, nobody has hours a day to spend in the gym. Circuit training is the perfect workout for the time-crunched fitness fiend. You can set up as many or as few stations as you like and then continue through the circuit until your time runs out. You can fit in an effective, total-body workout whether you have 15 minutes or an hour.
2. Builds muscle
The unique trait of circuit training is it is a mixture of both cardio and strength training. With the strength training aspect, it is a good way to build up muscle as well as to tone the body. Since performing multiple strength exercises with minimal breaks, the muscles are working for a long period, therefore, building strength, which becomes noticeable in muscle size.
3. Reduce injury risk
Circuit training is intensive, and it does demand good form to prevent getting injured in high-intensity efforts. Especially if you are watching the time and trying to get lots of reps in, you can get excited, make mistakes and get hurt. However, most training injuries come from overuse, and circuit training is a super way to prevent overuse or repetitive-cause injuries.
Similar to the benefits of cross-training, because you are changing your movements – and the target of your effort – frequently, you will put your body at much less strain from an injury perspective than if you were just running for an hour, or lifting the same weight over and over.
For serious athletes and competitors, circuit training is also a good way to mix up your training and put in a serious conditioning session without putting more stress on the muscles, joints, or soft tissues that you need for your competitive sport.
4. Improve cardiovascular health
Circuit training includes completing a series of exercises with limited rest in between, which results in an elevated heart rate. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a standard strength training bench press was compared to a circuit-style bench press. Although performance remained the same under the two conditions, the heart rate was higher throughout all the sets performed for the circuit style training.
During circuit training, the heart works harder, training it to pump blood more efficiently. A result of regular exercise is a lower resting heart rate, resulting from the heart being trained to pump more blood to the body, so it beats slower.
5. Get you lean and toned
No matter whether your circuits are general, all-around exercises, or focused more on strength, cardio, or agility, you’re going to get a perfect combination to get you a lean, toned physique. The combination of intense strength components, which build lean muscle, and calorie-burning cardio can’t be beaten when it comes to developing a toned and lean body.
Unlike a focused strength workout, or going for a run, with a circuit training session you are going to work your whole body, inside and out. Your upper body, core, lower body, as well as your heart and lungs will get hit hard by your circuits. With a good circuit program, there won’t be any corner that gets away untouched. If you are looking to build all-around fitness, circuits are a perfect choice.
If you are just starting out, circuits a couple of times a week will make sure you get a good overall workout and build strength, fitness, and balance over your whole body. As you get fitter and stronger and think about trying new sports, circuit training will help you keep a solid base that will help you learn your new sport, and prevent injuries.
For specialist athletes, circuits help to balance out more targeted skills training for specific sports. Endurance and strength athletes alike can benefit from regular circuits to help with muscle control, plyometric power, good form, and injury prevention, no matter what sport you do.
6. Beat gym boredom
Because circuit training is such a flexible format, the options in how you organize your workout are limitless. Whether you like to stick to one routine for a while to measure your progress or prefer mixing it up every time you go to the gym, having a plan will make you more confident and efficient.