Looking for a way to diversify your fitness routine? Regardless of whether you are an experienced athlete or just starting to engage in physical activity, circuit training is a great way to challenge your body and try new types of exercises.
What is circuit training?
The circuit training was developed by English experts R. Morgan and G. Adamson in 1952-1958. Its essence is the sequential implementation of one set of each exercise program one after another to different muscle groups (MG).
The сircuit training method is a set of exercises developed at Leeds University (England). Initially, it was about group classes for students. The goal was to find a variant of physical activity that would allow you to play sports with individual intensity while remaining interesting and accessible to people with any physical training.
Later, this technique was modernized and became one of the most effective ways to reduce weight.
Regular workouts suggest that you perform several sets of exercises (for example, 3 sets of squats with a barbell), then go to the next and do a cycle of non-replaceable exercises, then go to the third and so on.
Circular training is an alternation of exercises (usually around 5-7), designed for different muscle groups, with a short rest interval between sets.
Important: the break should be between the completed cycle of 5-7 completed exercises, and not between each of the types of loads.
The whole idea of such training is to simultaneously train different muscle groups with minimal rest.
What are circuit training benefits?
This is one of the most versatile and flexible types of training. At the same time, it is not necessary to perform exercises in the gym with rugs, kettlebells, and other additional equipment, you can play sports exclusively with your own weight and at the same time get really heavy loads!
The benefits of a circuits exercise:
- Prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Toning the body, increasing muscle strength, and rendering relief.
- The development of endurance.
- Save time and the ability to train anywhere.
- A creative and flexible training method that allows you to make exercises varied and not to be bored during the gym circuit.
- Adaptability. Suitable for both athletes and beginners.
According to Harvard Medical School, a person with a weight of 57 kg or more can burn 240 kcal in half an hour of a general circuits gym training, 298 kcal with a weight of 70 kg or 355 kcal with a weight of 84 kg or more. In addition, your body will continue to burn extra pounds at a much higher rate throughout the day.
This calorie loss is tantamount to stress when playing hockey, soccer, volleyball, or when climbing or swimming.
Circuits for the gym causes the release of growth hormone into the body. It provides fat loss with minimal muscle atrophy.
In 2013, a study was conducted that was able to determine the physiological effect of high-intensity circular training (HICT) on the risks of cardiovascular disease in healthy middle-aged, overweight people. In total, 58 people took part in the test, who trained using different methods. As a result, circuit training was more effective for improving blood pressure, lipoproteins, and triglycerides than other types of physical activity.
How to use it in bodybuilding?
Sports scientists believe that CT leads to the development of motor qualities of strength, speed, and endurance, and their opinion differs from “truthful sources” data, where it is recommended to stimulate muscle growth and during “cutting,” performing up to 10 exercises for different MGs with 30 sec rest between them.
So, if this, and any other type of strength training is not related to fat burning, then it turned out that bodybuilders still had muscle hypertrophy, intuitively felt the right decision, forgetting about these 30 seconds.
Let me remind you that circuit training is not a synonym for full body (training the whole body) and is not tied to the number of MG trained at one time. This method is rational to use when the number of repetitions in the set is more than 10-12 (20 sec), because during this time, the working MG is acidified with lactic acid and the next set, and even more so the third one, can be performed with the same weight, without a significant reduction in the number of repetitions, if it is not enough rest.
Not enough for what, to restore breathing? No, breathing will be restored in 1.5-3 minutes, but to reduce the concentration of hydrogen ions, i.e., deoxidation, this rest is clearly small (it can be up to 5-7 minutes), which usually translates into a decrease in the number of repetitions in the set. Namely, maintaining performance, expressed in the ability to perform an exercise with the maximum possible weight in a given number of repetitions, is a key condition for hypertrophic training.
How to build circuit training
In one workout, three MGs are worked out, for example, chest, biceps, and legs in 6 circles, i.e., 6 working sets for each MG. Having completed the working set for the chest, we restore breathing (1.5-3.0 min) and perform the set for the biceps, followed by rest and set for the legs, the circle is completed.
Next comes the second circle, then the third, etc. In muscles that have a large number of groups and heads (legs, back, deltoids) or segments (pectoral), we recommend one or two shifts of exercises per workout.
- The main plus of the circuit workout when doing more than 10-12 repetitions in the set is the rational distribution of training time.
- The minus is the need to simultaneously take several machines/barbells/training places.
Additionally, see how to build killer deltoids.
What is more, find out how to overcome genetics in bodybuilding.