Circuit training is an excellent way to improve strength and stamina. Circuit training tones muscles while keeping the heart rate at a certain level, providing benefits to your cardiovascular system. The usual format consists of a series of 6-10 strength exercises completed in succession. A time limit for each set of exercise may be used or a number of repetitions may have to be completed before going on to the next set of exercises. The length of the session and number of sets of circuits will depend on the training session and fitness of each individual.
When planning your circuits, try to plan 3-4 circuits of 6-10 exercises. It is beneficial to vary the muscle groups used to try and ensure that the same muscle group is not used for consecutive circuits. Ideally a circuit should be set up so that you work each body part as follows: total body, upper body, lower body, core and trunk.
See the examples below for exercises that could be used in a circuit training session:
- Upper body - press-ups, bench dips, pull-ups, bench lift, inclined press-up
- Core and trunk - sit-ups (lower abdominals), stomach crunch (upper abdominals), back extension chest raises
- Lower body - squat jumps, astride jumps, step-ups, shuttle runs, bench squat
- Total body - burpees, squat thrusts, skipping