7 Benefits of Circuit Training (and One Downside)
Kick your metabolism into high gear with this simple, customizable workout.
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 (Get a quick tutorial here) and then continue through the circuit until your time runs out. You can fit it in effective, total-body workout whether you have 15 minutes or an hour.
2. Challenge Your Whole Body
Ever found yourself just wandering around the gym floor and winging your workout? (It's ok, we've all done it!) By incorporating individual "stations" as part of a whole-body circuit, you're guaranteed to hit every major--and minor--muscle group.
3. Mix Cardio and Strength Training
You love cardio but know you should do weights too (or vice versa), and forcing yourself to do an entire workout you don't enjoy can be tedious (and much easier to skip). Circuit training offers the best of both worlds by allowing you to combine intervals of high-intensity cardio with heavy weight lifting for a comprehensive--and seriously kick-butt--workout.
4. Send Your Metabolism Soaring
Thanks to the many benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and heavy weight lifting, circuit training kicks your fat-burning furnace into high gear. You'll torch more calories in 20 minutes than you would in an entire hour on the elliptical reading a magazine. Plus, the afterburn effect will have you torching calories for up to 48 hours after your workout ends.
5. Never Waste Another Minute
Waiting in line for your favorite machine or trying to avoid conversation with the chatty musclehead camped out by the dumbbells are fast ways to kill your motivation. With circuit training, it's easy to swap out one station for a different exercise and still get the same great workout.
6. Try All the Latest Fitness Tools
Have you ever been curious about a new piece of equipment but weren't sure how to use it well enough for an entire workout? Circuit training allows you to mix in short bits using cutting-edge gym tools such as the TRX, Bosu, or kettlebells so you can get comfortable with new equipment without having to commit.
7. Beat Gym Boredom
Because circuit training is such a flexible format, the options in how you set up 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. Need a few ideas to get started? Check out our article on how to create the perfect circuit here!
The Only Downside of Circuit Training
Circuit training can take up a lot of equipment and/or space. It won't be a problem if you're in your basement, but if you're monopolizing half the equipment on the weight floor, just remember to be a good sport and let people work in with you. Who knows, they might even inspire you to try something you've never done before.