5 Benefits of Circuit Training

Circuit training is an often forgotten-about method of training, particularly by those chasing muscular gains.

Breaking your individual workouts into individual body parts is the tried-and-true method for muscular growth. Research has indicated that the average person can achieve maximal gains by training each muscle group exhaustively on a weekly basis.

So rather than training the whole body multiple times a week, trainees have been splitting their weekly gym sessions into specific body parts. This enables them to hit all aspects of the body at least once with maximal effort.

There are a number of unique benefits of circuit work however, that are often overlooked. Busy lifestyles, time pressures and a need to keep workouts interesting and our bodies guessing are just some reasons why full body circuit training has a genuine place in any strength training program. When employed strategically, it also offers significant health and physique benefits that can be missing from strength training regimes.

Here are five reasons why you should think about getting a full-body circuit workout (somewhere) back into your program, Additionally, bodybuilding competitor Nathan Falcke gives us his go-to five station circuit program.

Improves muscular endurance

The intense and consistent nature of circuit training sees a lot of programs employing higher reps within sets than your usual strength or bodybuilding style of workout. When you’re moving from station to station with limited rest, it doesn’t make sense — and can be quite dangerous — to be hoisting big poundages. If training to failure remains the order of the day, your circuit work, with rep-ranges well into the twenties, will see muscular endurance benefits abound.

Research shows that even in these higher ranges, hypertrophy is still achievable. Further to that, your body’s ability to work in the face of fatigue and lactic acid will serve you well when you switch to higher weight, lower rep work. Your body’s ability to fight muscular fatigue can help you squeeze another rep or two when in more traditional rep ranges for hypertrophy. This helps you to build muscle mass as well.

Can target the whole body in a single workout

This might seem contradictory having just explained the reasoning behind breaking your workouts down into body parts, however, not every week in the gym is perfect. Quite often, when life gets in the way, we can find ourselves having missed a couple of training sessions during a week. Instead of deciding which body parts to prioritise across limited sessions, a circuit workout could be the answer. It will ensure that every body part gets effective stimulation across fewer sessions, ensuring nothing gets missed before your program gets back on track.

Heart-health benefits

One of the issues with weight training is that although it’s usually intense work, it doesn’t always give us the best cardio-respiratory benefit. Our heart rate doesn’t hit the sustained heights that it would in an intense cardio workout. That’s because in order to build strength, we tend to seek adequate rest between working sets, which sees our heart rate come down. That’s where circuit training comes in. Most circuit workouts are built around a collection of exercises that you work through with minimal rest. As a result of that, with shortened rest periods, you’re not giving yourself sufficient rest time to allow your heart rate to drop, again keeping the heart rate up and seeing trainees gain heart-health benefits as well.

Time efficient

Struggling for time? That’s when a circuit program is at its best. Like high-intensity interval work, circuit training is about packing as much in (safely) within a limited timeframe, while keeping the training work resistance-based. So even if you only have 30 minutes to squeeze in a quick session, a circuit program is the perfect option to get the most bang for your training buck.

Keeps things interesting

We can get a little dogmatic with training methodologies: we often pick a training ideology and commit to it wholeheartedly. In doing so, we can sometimes get stuck in a routine that doesn’t waiver from the goal – X amount of sets, with Y amounts of rest between sets and so on. Adaptation comes from throwing things at your body that it’s not expecting or is not familiar with, and mental stimulation can come from training in novel and unique ways. An intense circuit workout will change things up from a physiological standpoint and a mental standpoint, to keep your body guessing and your mind interested.

© 2022 Life Fitness. All Rights Reserved.