This circuit training guide will allow you to do the perfect workout effortlessly. Choose any of the presented circuit workouts to improve your results in a short amount of time.
What are the main features of circuit training?
These are called circuit workouts because you follow a strict sequence of exercises. And then you repeat it for a certain number of times or a certain length of time.
Typically, in one circle, you work every muscle group within your body. One exercise, for example, targets the lower body, while another exercise targets the upper body.
The variety of circuit training is very vast, but you can find common features that relate within all of them:
- Several different exercises. Typically, circuit training sets consist of 5-10 exercises.
- Almost no rest in between circuits. Between exercises, the goal of circuit training is to maintain an elevated heart rate throughout your workout.
- Circuits are repeated. Typically, you will go through several circles or workouts within your circuit training, usually there are three stages within each.
In addition, if you know what calisthenics and training programs for beginners are, then it will be easier for you to master this new exercise order.
What are the main benefits of circuit training?
If muscles grow while fat is burned, then the circuit training routine is working. This can be confirmed by multiple examples.
The point here is to target different parts of your body with different exercises, and then, while those parts are recovering, you target other muscles groups which have not been worked on! This helps to promote cardiovascular health, as well as to improve muscle endurance and strength.
Plus, you’ll burn vast amounts of calories within these workouts, making this a great way to loose body fat!
Research shows that circuit strength training, works great for losing weight and improving a user’s overall health.
More importantly, for those who don’t have much time to exercise, doing a strength circuit training session is more effective at building strength and burning fat than the equivalent amount of cardio.
In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you should be doing circuit training rather than just cardio training.
Why should I do circuit training?
As we know, all exercises can be roughly divided into strength and aerobic (or cardio) exercises.
What’s the difference?
- Strength training. This is anaerobic exercise, which is associated with a short burst of energy within movements (push-ups or pull-ups, for example). These exercises help to build and tone your muscles.
- Aerobic exercise. During aerobic exercises, your heart rate increases to increase the amount of oxygen needed where your body needs it. Examples of such exercises: running, cycling or jumping, and including others.
The essence of the circuit training is a combination of both types of movements within a circle of different workouts. Presses and lunges are included in strength training, along with jumping which increases your cardio.
Since you barely stop between circles within your circuit training, you will need more oxygen to circulate your body and this means even more cardiovascular action is needed and aquired.
With circuit training, you can build muscle and burn fat while also building endurance.
This makes circuit training is a win-win situation.
Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise
There is some debate about which exercise is best for losing weight: aerobic or anaerobic.
If you are limited in time and can only choose one of these, we would choose strength training, as when you train with weights, you destroy (tear) your muscles. Your body has to work really hard for the next 24 to 48 hours to try and rebuild those muscle fibers that have been torn (with an increase in the number of calories you burn).
Warm-Ups and Stretching Before and After Circuit Training Workouts
It doesn’t make much difference what kind of circuit training you are doing. You just need to understand that there is one thing with which you need to start and end the session with and that is warm ups!
This can be explained to you within another article what a warm-up is for and why you need to do it. we will only mention that it should not be long. Five minutes will be more than enough time to warm up your muscles and tendons. Also this will increase your heart rate, ready for the training that your are about to participate in.
This will help you to exercise correctly and help you prevent injury. You can run in place, jerk your arms and legs, or perform some jumping movement as a form of warm up.
There are many warm-up exercises for beginners, but here is a program that will suit any person at any level.
Pre-Circuit Warm-Up Program (Advanced)
- Jumping rope – 2-3 minutes
- Jumping Jacks – 25 reps
- Classic Squats -20 reps
- Lunges – 5 reps per leg
- Hip Stretch – 10 reps per side
- Hip Rotation – 5 per leg
- Forward Leg Swings – 10 for each leg
- Side Leg Swings – 10 for each leg
- Pushups -10-20 reps
- Spider Walk – 10 Reps
Remember, the purpose of these movements is to prepare your muscles for the main workout exercises.
A warm-up is the first step that you must take. The next step is to complete your selected circuit workout.
Bodyweight Circuit Training Routines for Beginners
- Classic Squats – 20 reps
- Push-ups from the floor-10 reps
- Walking lunges – 10 on each leg
- Incline Dumbbell Row -10 for each arm
- Plank -15 seconds
- Jumping Jacks -30 reps
Repeat this cycle three times. It will be great for anyone who also wants to just try out and get the feel for what circuit training is like.
Advanced Bodyweight Circuit Training Routine
If the beginner training above is too easy for you, you can move on to the next advanced bodyweight workout stage.
- Classic Squats – 20 reps
- Walking lunges – 20 reps (10 on each leg)
- Jump steps – 20 reps (10 for each leg)
- Pull-ups – 10 reps (or pull-ups of the body in an incline)
- Dips – 10 reps
- Chin ups -10 reps
- Push-ups from the floor-10 reps
- Plank-30 seconds
Repeat this routine three times will little rest in between each circuit.
Outdoor Circuit Workouts
- Bench Leg Raises: 20 reps (10 on each leg)
- Bench Push-ups: 10 reps
- Upright Rows: 10 reps
- Back lunges: 8 reps per leg
- Reverse Leg Curl: 10 reps
- Bench Jumps: 10 reps
- Bench Push-ups: 10 reps
- Bent-over Rows: 10 reps
- Lunges: 8 reps per leg
- Straight leg raises: 10 reps
Repeat this outdoor circuit workout three times, to complete your three sets of full circuits.
Circuit Training with Kettlebells
Do you have a kettlebell? If you do, it is perfect for circuit kettlebell training.
- Goblet Squats – 10 reps
- Overhead Kettlebell Swings -8 reps (on each side)
- Kettlebell Swing – 15 reps
- Kettlebell rows – 8 reps (on each side)
- Kettlebell Lunge – 6 reps (on each side)
After you’ve done three circuits of this, do some stretches afterwards.
Gym Circuit Training
If you have time to work out in the gym, then there is another workout that will be great for you.
But if this is your first time at the gym, check out circuit training for beginners. With great zeal, but without sufficient knowledge, you can easily hurt yourself and cause injury.
Here is a two-day guide for your gym workout.
First day of your gym circuit training
- Barbell Squat-10 reps
- Push-ups -10 reps
- Pull-ups or alternative exercises -10 reps
Second day of your gym circuit training
- Romanian deadlift – 10 reps
- Push-ups – 10 reps
- Dumbbell Rows – 10 reps per arm
Don’t forget about rest days. For example, Monday is the first day of training. Then a day of rest is needed. Then the second day on Wednesday, etc.
Circuit Training Routines at Hotels for Travelers
Sometimes you get stuck in a hotel room and have no time to look for a gym. But don’t be discouraged. How is a circuit training program that you can use right in your room!
- Squats with bodyweight – 20 reps
- Incline push-ups – 15 reps
- Single Arm Row – 10 reps (for each side)
- Reverse Leg Curl -10 reps
- Squats with raised arms – 25 reps
- Push-ups – 20 reps
- Inverted Deadlift – 10 reps
- Reverse Leg Curl -15 reps
Set a timer for 15 minutes and see how many workout circles you can do within this time.
The Amazing Batman Circuit Training Routine
If you are already fed up with the above workouts, here’s another unusual workout that you can try;
- Rolling squat tuck-up jumps – 5 reps
- Side to side push-ups – 5 reps
- Modified handstand push-ups – 5 reps
- Jumping pull-ups -5 reps
- Handstands against wall – 8 seconds
- 180 degree jump turns -5 reps
- Tuck front lever hold -8 seconds
- Tuck back lever hold – 8 seconds
- Low frog hold – 8 seconds
Repeat each circuit three times.
Well, a little difficult already? It will be more fun further along!
If something is not clear, google the name of the exercise and watch the video so that you know exactly how to perform these exercises!
Spartan 300 Circuit Training Program
Do this work out to become strong like the legendary King Leonidas.
- Pull-ups – 25 reps
- Deadlift 60kg – 50 reps
- Push-ups – 50 reps
- Box Jumps -50 reps
- Kettlebell clean and press -25 reps for each side
- Floor wipers -50 reps
- Pull-ups – 25 reps
If you can get through this routine twice, then you are ready to defend Greece.
Wolverine Circuit Training Routine
- Good morning – 10 reps
- Quick lower squats – 10 reps
- Dumbbell push-ups with a row – 5 reps for each side
- Lunge with rotation -5 reps per side
How many circuits to do? I suggest setting a 12-minute timer and getting started to see how many times you can achieve this.
The complete list of circuit training exercises
You can use any circuit workout that is provided above. Or you can alternate them to suite your own personal preference.
But if you want to combine circuit workouts, we suggest that you pick exercises from the list below, and create your circuit training plans, but these must include doing 3 circuits or more for your created routine.
Cardio exercises for your circuit training plans
- Jumping rope
- Jumping Jack
- Step jumps
- Mountain Climber
- Climbing stairs
- Running in place
- High-knee running in place
- Long Distance Jumping
- Box Jumping
Upper body push exercises
Upper Body Pull Exercise
- Dumbbell row
- Pull-ups with various grips
Lower body exercises
- Bodyweight squats
- Kettlebells Swings
- Plank and its types
- Side plank
- Leg raises
Pick 3-5 exercises evenly from all groups to design a plan that works out the muscles, areas or your cardiovascular system that is lacking behind the rest of your body.
Do three circuits with 10 or more reps for each exercise, and make sure that you have fun!
How to stretch after a circuit workout
You have now completed the main part of your training. The next and last step is stretching and relaxation. Regardless of which type of circuit training you choose, be sure to do stretching exercises for muscle recovery purposes.
In addition to traditional stretching exercises, you can also do some yoga poses. For stretching, find what you like and take your time with it. Let your heart rate slow down as you stretch, and you can also use a foam roller as well to help assist you with your stretching.
There are many exercises to choose from. Your task is to complete the circuit training. If you are at a loss and you don’t know which one to choose, then I would recommend circuit training for beginners. It’s easy to do, and this will also help you get used to the rapid transition from one exercise to another.
We always say that the most important step into your fitness journey, is the beginning (taking the first step). Start your circuit workout today and start on your road to a healthier and better lifestyle.