Women lifting barbells to chin

Circuit training is a combination of exercises performed with short rest periods between them for either a set number of repetitions or a prescribed amount of time. One circuit is when all of the chosen exercises have been completed. Multiple circuits can be performed in one training session.

Circuit training will usually involve 6-12 exercises and should be structured in a way that enables you to keep performing the exercises with good technique and very short rest intervals.

What is circuit training good for?

Circuit training will elevate your heart rate and keep it high through the entire circuit due to the short rest periods, large muscles being worked together and a combination of upper, lower and whole body exercises.

An appropriate exercise selection and structure to the circuit will mean that you can move from one exercise to the next without undue fatigue. Circuit training has some of the benefits of cardiovascular training and weight training but will not replicate either one specifically.

Circuit training is a great choice if you get easily bored, are short on time or don’t like to train alone. It can involve as much or little equipment as you like which makes it ideal for group training and those with limited space.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

Circuit training is an excellent option to help you lose weight along with a healthy diet. So if you need to lose weight because you have a condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, this may be a good choice for you, but make sure to check with your doctor first if you have a health condition that may be effected by exercise.

If you have diabetes, make sure you know what to do if your blood sugar goes too low when exercising. If you have arthritis, choose low-impact exercises. Don’t do any moves that put pounding pressure on painful joints, like jumping jacks.

Going to an organised class or having a personal trainer is a great way to get started, as they will help to insure the exercises and intensity are suitable for you!

Example of a body weight circuit

30 seconds work with 30 seconds rest between each exercise. Perform the circuit three times with three minutes rest between each circuit.

  • Jumping squat
  • Push up
  • Skydivers
  • V sits
  • High knees
  • Jumping lunge
  • Plank to push up
  • Side plank rotations
  • Lateral skaters

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