Circuit Training Workouts: What You Do, Benefits, and More

Circuit training (image via Unsplash/Sam Sabourin)

Circuit training is a type of exercise that involves moving quickly from one exercise to another, with little or no rest in between.

It's great for anyone who wants to increase their fitness level, but it's especially beneficial for those who're short on time, as you can fit all your workout needs into just one session.

In this article, we will go over how to do circuit training, examples of different circuits and how they work.

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is a type of high-intensity workout that involves exercising one body part and then moving to the next. Circuit training can be performed with free weights, machines, or your own bodyweight. The goal is to repeat the circuit 3-6 times depending on your fitness level.

Here's how it works:

  • Choose one exercise for each muscle group (e.g., chest press, shoulder press, bicep curl). Perform 8-10 repetitions per set before moving on to the next exercise to complete about two sets for each muscle group in that particular circuit routine.
  • Exercises should be done back-to-back without resting between them — that means you'll go from chest press straight into shoulder presses and so on till you've completed all eight exercises within your defined timeframe (in this case 2 x 8 reps = 16 total reps).

How to do circuit training?

To complete a circuit, perform each exercise for 30 seconds on your own, and move on to the next one (in order). Start with one exercise, and continue till you've completed four rounds, which makes up one set.

You should rest for two minutes between sets if you're using free-weight resistance or calisthenics (bodyweight) exercises. If you're using machines at the gym and don't need to change stations during each set, take longer breaks while keeping the same machine settings throughout your workout session.

Examples of circuit training

Circuit training workouts usually incorporate a series of exercises that work different muscle groups. You typically do one set of each exercise, with minimal or no rest in between. Then you move on to the next exercise in the circuit.

If you're doing squats as your first exercise, do pull-ups as your second. After you complete ten squats, you rest for 30 seconds, and do ten pull-ups (with no rest). Continue this pattern till you've done all the exercises in order — squats, pull-ups, and so on — till you've completed several rounds or circuits.

After each round or circuit, rest, and take a minute or two to stretch out any muscles that feel tight before starting another round/circuit. That allows time for heart rate recovery so that when it's time to repeat sets again, there won't be much time spent recovering from fatigue caused by lactic acid build-up during intense exercise bouts like in high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions.

What are the benefits of circuit training?

Circuit training is a great way to get the most out of your workout time. Not only does it burn fat and build lean muscle, but it also helps you get a much-needed boost in energy when you feel tired or run down.

It’s also a good way to learn how to do exercises correctly so that you can keep up with your fitness goals as they come up. Here are some of the benefits of circuit training:

What to consider before doing circuit training?

Before you begin your circuit training programme, here're a few things to consider:

  • Check with your trainer: Your trainer will be able to give you advice about how much exercise is appropriate for you and what types of activities are best for building strength and endurance.
  • Start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity and duration: If you're new to working out, start with one or two exercises per session till your body has adapted. Increase the number of exercises as well as their duration while keeping rest periods short between each set (1-2 minutes). Finally, try adding weight training into your routine if it's safe for you - this will help build muscle mass, which also burns more calories during rest than fat does.


Circuit training is a great way to burn calories and get in shape. It’s an intense workout that uses your bodyweight as resistance, so you don’t need any special equipment. You can do it anywhere, whether at home or at the gym — just make sure you have enough space.

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Edited by Bhargav