What is Circuit Training, and How Does it Help You Lose Weight?

Image via Unsplash/Sam Moghadam Khamseh
Circuit training is beneficial for losing weight. (Image via Unsplash/Sam Moghadam Khamseh)

Circuit training is a familiar term among cardio or conditioning enthusiasts. It's a combination of multiple exercises performed in circuits, i.e. back to back in order.

Ideally, a circuit can comprise anywhere between three to six exercises with minimal rest breaks, like HIIT. They are performed in multiple rounds - up to three or four.

These exercises can be resistance workouts, dynamic movements, or even isometric holds. These unique combinations provide for an effective, intense full body workout.


How is Circuit Training Effective for Weight Loss?

Contrary to common misconception, studies have shown that circuit training can be more effective for weight loss than traditional low-intensity, steady-state exercises, like running, cycling, swimming etc.

That can be attributed to the different exercises of various intensities performed in circuit training as well as the utilization of other fuel systems in the body. More specifically, circuit training is considered a form of anaerobic training, i.e. the body produces oxygen to meet its requirements during these short bursts of energy.

Unlike aerobic exercises, where the intensity is low enough for the body to use the oxygen it receives, this form of training burns more calories.

Another little known fact is that strength training boosts the body’s calorie-burning potential for hours longer than cardio workouts, meaning you end up burning more calories simply while resting.

Incorporating strength movements into a circuit is a surefire way to amp up the fat burn. Strength exercises can ensure that your body takes on great shape by toning the muscles, apart from losing fat.

The best part about circuit training is its versatility. You can use a combination of any exercises; perform them anywhere, for any duration, and still burn a whole lot of calories. You’ll never get bored of circuit training.

However, when it comes to weight loss, there are several other factors that come into play. Exercise is only one part of this journey; your diet and lifestyle also have big roles to play.

If losing fat while toning your muscles is what you’re aiming for with circuit training, it would be best for you to follow a diet that’s high in protein and relatively low in carbs. Don’t cut carbs and fats out completely - they’re exactly what you need to fuel your circuits.

Your diet should also comprise micronutrients and water. Taking your vitamins daily will ensure smooth functioning of all systems in your body, thereby facilitating improved digestion, absorption of nutrients, and subsequently burning fat. Staying hydrated is also important for these functions. Drinking enough water during the day can regularly flush out any toxins in the body.


Takeaway

If you’re looking to lose weight and are already tired of the conventional, steady-state exercises, it may be time for you to venture into circuit training.

There are plenty of videos on the internet you can follow. So put on some comfortable clothes and shoes. Keep your water and towel handy, and blast your favorite music while you absolutely crush your circuit.

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Edited by Bhargav