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Back to Basics: Circuit Training

There are a million and one ways to workout which is great because one reason people stop exercising is they get bored with their routine. Circuit training is a way to add some spice to a stale workout plan. Plus there is the major bonus of improved mobility, strength and stamina with one type of workout. Now that is what I call versatile.

Essentially, circuit exercises are performed one after another with little or no rest between each of the training exercises. You set a number of reps or a specific amount of time for the duration of each exercise. So you can do:

20 push-ups followed by 20 jumping jacks, then 20 sit-ups, then 2 laps at the track etc.
1 minute of push ups, then 1 minute of jumping jacks followed by 1 minute of sit ups, then run for 5 minutes, etc.

Circuit training is generally a mix of strength training and cardio, but the circuit is generally comprised of 6 to 10 exercises. Since there are so many different combinations you can put together your workout combinations are endless.

There are a few more guidelines and to check them out

A few guidelines:

  • You want to make sure you're working each muscle group (legs, glutes, back, abs, chest and arms).
  • Try to include some agility training - jumping side to side over a book, or jumping rope would do the trick.
  • Make sure you focus on speed at some point in the circuit (this element should remind you of doing intervals from a cardio workout).
  • You can use hand weights, physio balls, medicine balls and other probs or just go old school calisthenics (bring the burpee back!)

If you have a short amount of time to squeeze in cardio and strength training, then circuit training is the way to go. Make sure to have a plan of action before starting your workout or hitting the gym. Go ahead, write it down and check your crib sheet while you're sweating if need be. And most importantly, have fun!


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