Do you want to get ripped while saving tons of time? Reveal your highly detailed and effective circuit training workout guide and learn how to structure your sessions by yourself. No gym required - perform your circuit workouts at a place of your choice. Ready to get rapid training results? Start reading.
What Is The Circuit Training Workout?
In a nutshell - the circuit workouts are sessions that will involve a couple of exercises/movements, by alternating each other in a circuit fashion with limited to none rest between them.
Every exercise is a certain station. So you have to move from one station to another.
These workouts are performed in rounds frames. You have to move through 2,3,5 etc. exercises and then rest for a certain amount of time.
Here's an example of a jump rope and bodyweight circuit training workout. Please, enjoy this video.
What Are The Benefits of
The Circuit Workouts?
How Many Exercises to Pick?
It highly depends.
I'm performing circuit workouts from about 10 years and my favorite are the ones where I alternate 2 or 3 exercises.
It's way easier to pick 2 or 3 movements and go back to back instead doing 5 or 6 exercises and get confused or forget what comes next.
See, if the session is a highly intense one, you breath hard and you're "in the zone", you might want to minimize the frustrations in your circuit training workout.
You don't want to get confused of what comes next, how many repetitions to do etc.
Otherwise said, to get an outstanding circuit session, keep it simple so you can focus on less and push the pedal more efficiently.
This advice is priceless if your level with the circuit training is a beginner or intermediate one.
Isn't 2 or 3 Exercises Too Few for a Whole Circuit Workout?
Yes and no.
It depends on the structure of the session.
You can crash your body with 2 exercises or you can feel refreshed and charged with 6 exercises.
What will determine how effective your circuit session is?
1. The intensity/complexity/speed of performance of your exercises
2. The volume of your circuit workout - that would be the end number of repetitions of your workout. The whole sum of how many reps you have done.
3. The rest periods - obviously, the less you rest between rounds, the higher the intensity will be (I don't recommend short rest periods between the circuit training rounds because most often, it inhibits the proper exercise technique).
4. The number of rounds performed - if you want to pick 2 exercises and go back to back in a circuit fashion, then follow 6-8-10-12 round workouts. If you have chosen 6 exercises for example, then 3-5 rounds will do the work for you.
The Effective Way to Structure Your Circuit Workouts
Like already described above, if you're a beginner or intermediate with the circuit workouts, then I would suggest to pick a smaller number of exercises.
A very effective way to hit more exercises is to pick 2 even 3 smaller circuits.
Let me explain.
Pick 2 or 3 movements and work for a 4 round circuit workout.
Then get an appropriate rest of 3-4 minutes to fully recover and pick another 2-3 exercises and go for another 4 rounds.
That way, you get a higher volume workout by avoiding complexity or confusion.
And of course, if you're experienced enough with this circuit training style, then pick 5-6 exercises and go hard for 5-6 rounds.
Repetitions or Time Intervals?
It's All Up To You
The greatest part of doing circuit training is that you have literally countless of exercise and performance variety.
In addition, you can create your session either for a certain amount of repetitions or you can set an interval timer app and work/rest for rounds.
let's summarize this one:
1. The Repetition Circuit Workout - Pick the required number of exercises and set an exact number of repetitions for each movement - to be easier for you, choose the same rep-range for all of the exercises so you can avoid any complications.
Let's say you pick 3 exercises and want to go for reps. Set the rep range 8-12 or 12-15 and go with it for all exercises.
Make sure that the complexity of the exercises is at your training level. Try one set if you have any doubts and then include it into the workout.
2. The Hybrid Circuit Training Style - You can combine a HIIT (High Intense Interval Training) and a Circuit Training Workout all at once!
Set an interval timer for a certain amount of work and rest. If you pick the 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest intervals, then once you're done with your first exercise, rest for 10 seconds and move to the next one. Once you're done with the round, rest for 90-120 seconds.
Not sure how to set the interval timer app based on your training level?
What Do You Need?
Taking the fact that Fit with Vlad is all about practical and mobile fitness, I will not delve deep into the lifting training tools.
Instead, I will provide you with the right training objects that you can us at your home, outdoor or while you travel.
However, I will share you some tips that I've learned through the years of following circuit training workouts in the gym.
let's delve into your mobile training tools.
1. Mobile and Practical Training Objects (no gym required) - Jumping Rope, Resistance Bands and Gymnastic Rings or TRX straps (you'll need an access to a pull up bar).
If you don't like limiting yourself with the place where the pull up station stands, then I will advice you to get 2 resistance bands and a regular jumping rope.
A heavier and a lighter resistance band will provide you with a big workout versatility and numerous exercises options.
A complete freedom to workout all around the world.
The fitness in your backpack.
So what kind of bands to buy?
The rounded, strength bands are my choice of preference and something that I advice my clients to work with.
Get a 15-25lbs Band (8-20kg resistance) and a heavier band 30-60lbs (15-30kg resistance).
2. Lifting objects - dumbbells, kettlebell, barbell, sandbag, bulgarian bag.
It's always harder than you think. Begin with lighter weights, test the circuit by doing one round (that will be a warm up as well) and then increase the weight if necessary.
Your Exercise Selection Tips To Create Your Own Circuit Workouts
When you create your circuit workouts, there are some tips that you may like to follow so you can perform well.
I will share with you 3 options to choose from:
1. Alternate upper body exercise with a lower body exercise - this one is the most recommended approach preached by the biggest coaches in the fitness industry.
By alternating upper-lower movements, you will allow your working muscles to get a short rest and recover so they can handle the upcoming work.
2. Alternate pull and push movement pattterns - This is an old bodybuilding ideology. By going back to back of pull and push exercises, you will allow the accumulated blood from your posterior chain muscles to flush into your anterior ones.
In addition, when you apply the pulling exercise first and then do your pushing exercise - you'll minimize the risk of injuries and your strength/performance will jump with the whooping 30% or more!
That approach will allow your body to handle more work in less time with minimal rest.
The best part here is that you can implement that approach for upper body workouts, lower body workouts or full body workouts.
A good example when you want to build a full body circuit workout is to implement the upper-lower and pull-push as well.
Here's how this goes.
- Upper body pull exercise
- Lower body push exercise
- Upper body push exercise
- Lower body pull exercise
- Lower body pull hexercise
- Upper body push exercise
- Lower body push exercise
- Upper body pull exercise
Combine these into a circuit routine and voilà - you get a killer full body workout.
3. Full body, complex exercise workouts - this one is a bit more advanced approach. However, it can be applied by any training level if being used properly.
The one thing to remember here is to never go above 2 - 4 full body/more complex exercises when building your own circuit routine. Otherwise the intensity will dramatically increase and you might over-train.
Your Complete Circuit Training Exercise List
No GYM Required
Let's jump to your mobile circuit training exercises!
1. Pull - pull ups (all variations), chin ups and horizontal bodyweight rows
2. Push - push ups (all variations), squat, jump squat, split squat, bulgarian squat, shrimp squat, pistol squat, lunges (all variations), step ups (use a bench, box or a stable chair).
Jump Rope Jumping Styles
Beginner level - regular two feet bounce, the boxing jump, lateral jumps, scizzors, front and back, mummy kicks, run in place style
Intermediate and Advanced Level - all styles above, double unders, high knee sprint in place, criss cross, criss cross double unders
Resistance Band Exercises
1. Pull - two arm row, one arm row, alternating rb row, deadlift, straight arm pull down, band pull apart, face pull, pallof press, explosive side rotation
2. Push - rb shadow boxing, rb push ups, feet elevated rb push ups, rb squats, rb jump squat, rb split squat, rb bulgarian squat
TRX and Rings Exercises
1. Pull - pull ups, horizontal bodyweight rows, one arm horizontal rows
2. Push - push ups (all variations on straps), dips, bulgarian squats on straps, body saw, L sit, L pull up
Simply, copy the exercise name on YouTube and you'll find a quality video about the proper exercise technique.
How Often to Perform
The Circuit Training Workouts?
Depends on your goals.
If your goal is to follow a circuit training program, then depending on how many days you can afford to work out.
Here are some options:
3 Circuit Workouts Per Week
Do 2-3 mini circuits per session.
Duration: 40-60 minutes duration.
Depending on your training level. If you are new to the circuit training, then pick 6 exercises. Split these into 3 small circuits of 2 exercises each and go for back to back.
Intermediate - 3 exercises for 3 mini circuits (a total of 9 movements).
Advanced - 4 exercises for 3 mini circuits (a total of 12 movements).
Go for 3-5 rounds per circuit. Rest between rounds: 90-120 seconds and 4-5 minutes between the mini circuits.
4 Circuit Workouts Per Week
Here the scenario can be similar to the 3 workouts per week, but cut one mini circuit and go for 2 circuits but increase the exercises to 4-5.
The sessions can be shorter - 25-35 minutes duration. And that will be determined of the number of rounds that you will choose.
5-6 Circuit Workouts Per Week
Pick 4-6 exercises and go for 4-6 rounds will be enough.
20-25 minute workouts.
What about if you don't like to perform just circuit workouts?
Then include 1-2 sessions per week as a post-workout finisher or as a stand-alone workouts. To improve your cardio, endurance, stamina and boost fat loss.
That being said, if you visit the gym or do more strength/bodybuilding workouts, then you can do 2-3 lifting workouts and 1-2 circuit training workouts per week.
Get a 100% Customized
Circuit Training Plan
Here's What You Get:
The circuit workouts are a great training option for people pressed on time to workout.
Get 2 resistance bands, a jumping rope and you're ready to workout absolutely anywhere in the world.
Implement the knowledge from this articles and you will enjoy the benefits that the circuit training workouts will provide for your body.
Less body fats, more endurance, cardio, conditioning, energy, focus and brain productivity.
This workouts are an incredible way to get you fit for 2-3 hours weekly investment.
Worth the try, isn't it?
Are you a fan of the circuit workouts?
Thanks for reading.
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