Circuit Training: Why It’s One of the Best Workouts

Circuits are a popular, effective and practical training method when it comes to weight loss, strengthening muscles, bones and even endurance. A circuit is simply a resistance training program in which one of each prescribed exercise is performed one after another with little to no rest in between. Once all exercises in the circuit are completed, the exerciser can complete the circuit again for another round. This is in contrast to linear training programs in which the exerciser completes a prescribed number of sets of a single exercise, with rest in between, before moving on to the next exercise. Circuit style training programs yield a number of unique benefits and advantages when compared to their linear counterparts. Box Step with High knees is a good example of a compound exercise that can be used in a circuit work out.

The first, and probably the most obvious advantage of circuit training is the time efficiency. Since rest time is kept to a minimum more time is spent exercising, thus burning more calories in the process. This is significant because weight loss is a common training goal, yet many people are limited in the amount of time that they can devote to exercise. Furthermore, if an exerciser performs a full body circuit, one muscle group is resting while another group is working. This cooperative rest and exertion between different muscle areas makes circuit training more time and physiologically efficient. Circuit programs are great for strengthening muscles and bones, but can also simultaneously train the cardiovascular system as well. Not to mention that circuit training offsets the majority of the boredom commonly experienced when performing other forms of cardiovascular training. Overall, circuit training programs are the superior option over linear programs when it comes to weight loss, endurance or general fitness, while saving time in the process. 


In Part 2, we will further discuss key benefits of circuit style training programs. Suggestions regarding how to make circuits more effective will also be provided.


By: Thomas Stuglik


Gregory Haff, T. T. (2016). Essentials of Strength and Conditioning . Windsor: Human Kinetics.