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Circuit training is a physical exercise training program aimed to develop resistance, strength, stamina and improved mobility. This kind of training helps bring out the contour, shape and feature of the muscle; a type of exercise that involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercises in a single exercise session. Circuit training is gaining popularity among women as this training has become one-stop complete body exercise training.
Fundamentals of circuit training
Circuit training is a type of group gym exercise in which strength and endurance exercises are combined with one another. A lot of stations are selected cautiously and are placed one after the other in the facility region. Stations include weight training, resistance training, pushups, sit-ups, star jumps, burpees, squat thrusts and similar exercises. Each member is assigned a station and interchange stations with other members after completing the exercise or after a stipulated time. In each work station the exerciser is permitted to relax for a short interval between exercises and is allowed to relax for a longer time in between stations. Completing a predetermined number of stations equals completion of a circuit.
Circuit training merges 8-10 exercises that are done one after the other with a rest interval of 30-60 seconds between each exercise (in specific stations). Once the exerciser completes all the exercises he is considered to have completed one circuit. Any number of circuits can be completed as according to the exerciser.
Circuit training program was developed in 1953 by G.T. Anderson and R.E. Morgan working for University of Leeds, London. Initially the circuit included 9 to 12 stations but recent times have seen addition of many more stations depending on the design of the circuit. Scientific studies point out that this kind of exercise pattern reduces the injury rate in athletes as all the muscles in the legs are strengthened.
Scheduling circuit training sessions
To begin a circuit training session, it is suggested that you choose the right trainer who can schedule you rightly throughout the program.
The trainer picks up the correct exercises that establish a perfect equilibrium among the exercises involving the exercisers major muscle group.
A trainer is required only till you learn the pattern, after understanding the exercise pattern you don’t need a trainer.
For people with prior experience in exercising, minimal training is sufficient.
Beginners should begin with 6 to 8 exercises for 30 minutes twice a week. As they get used to the schedule they can increase the timing and the frequency of workout sessions.
Exercise pattern in circuit training
It is always recommended that the exerciser choose a particular pattern for circuit training as per his requirements. While choosing the pattern, the exerciser should keep in mind that all the muscles of the body have to be exercised and that a single muscle alone should not be repeatedly exercised.
Upper body – Work out on press ups, pull ups, bench dips, bench lift, inclined press up, and medicine ball chest pass.
Lower body – Work on compass jumps, step ups, shuttle runs, bench squat, hopping shuttles, astride jumps, squat jumps.
Core and trunk - Work out on back extension chest raise, sit ups for lower abdominals, stomach crunch for upper abdominals.
Total body – Work out on burpees, skipping, squat thrusts and tread mills.
Who can do circuit training
Circuit training is suitable for all age groups and anybody can participate in these sessions. For beginners and for people who have never exercised all their life, circuit training is the best form of exercise to improve their overall body muscle condition. Unlike other exercise programs that proceed monotonously, circuit training includes variety and thus holds the interest of the exerciser throughout the session. It is recommended that exercisers take the opinion of their physician before enrolling into any fitness program.
Advantages of circuit training
Circuit training is an exercise pattern that is beneficial to the overall health of a person. Listed below are the advantages of this exercise pattern
An exercise method that has been recognized as highly scientific and systematic.
Helps work every muscle in the body thus enhancing overall physical fitness.
Improves the strength and endurance of the muscles.
Helps reduce body weight and inches with a very flexible manner of exercising.
These exercises can be tailored to suit any type of workout area.
It is the right form of work out for most sports and can be modified as per the particular requirement of the exerciser.
A single exercise helps improve energy levels, flexibility and cardio thus proving to be time efficient.
Excellent type of exercise that executes both resistance and strength training workouts that is exigent on both the lungs and the heart.
Exercises can be modified according to the age, form and physical condition of the athlete.
Exercises are very easy and are less complicated thus making all exercisers experience a feeling of accomplishment after each session.
Main feature of circuit training
The training is flexible and exerciser-friendly. People who hardly have time on hands to exercise can just spend ten minute and yet complete a total-body workout. With more time on hand, more circuits can be completed.
The fast pace of the exercise schedule helps burn more calories and fat in a short span of time.
Exercisers of all groups from beginners to pioneers can work in tune with their level of fitness and can choose a work pace that suits them.
Circuit training can be done anywhere either at home or gym or at any place of convenience.
With different exercises included, circuit training acts as a psychological booster and is a challenging experience to the exerciser.