Circuit training: exercises for all muscle groups in the gym

RIA Novosti. Fitness experts tell RIA Novosti what circuit training is, how to use it to lose weight and improve your physical performance, and also share a set of the best strength and aerobic exercises for working out in the gym.

Fitness is not always a boring sequence of the same movements. Confirmation of this is circuit training, which helps to diversify standard sports activities and test one’s stamina, resulting in a slim body and good health.

Circuit training

Circuit training is a form of training in which an athlete performs a cycle of several exercises, one after the other, with a short rest between them. Most often, such training consists of aerobic exercises and exercises aimed at working the main muscle groups. This combination accelerates the pulse and activates all the body’s resources, which encourages it to expend as much energy as possible.


Circuit training


The basic principle of circuit training is to work out the main muscle groups in one training circle. Therefore, this type of exercise helps the athlete achieve different goals:

1.Pump up all muscle groups. Focusing only on the strength type of load and alternating exercises on the lower and upper body engages all muscles in work throughout the entire training. Thus, there is no risk of increasing cortisol levels in the body and wasting muscle elasticity, which occurs with increased cardio loads and lack of balance in the choice of exercises.

2.Increase endurance. A circuit training plan can be drawn up according to a “mixed” type, varying the intensity of the exercises, working both with your own weight and with additional equipment, alternating aerobic exercise with strength training, etc. Such transitions help to stay in good shape, changing the physiological state of the body.

3.Burn fat. Circuit training requires a lot of energy. This not only activates metabolism, but also provokes the body to waste reserve resources – fat. At the same time, the muscles are involved in the work, which results in a beautiful and slender body.

4.Improve general physical fitness indicators. High intensity puts the body under stress, which motivates you to do your best when completing your training plan. This principle helps to increase endurance and activate muscle growth, which together improves physical performance.


The main features of any circuit training are characterized by its English abbreviation FITT:

time (Time);
type (Type).

Any circuit training does not last long – from 30 to 60 minutes, which makes it accessible to most athletes. Moreover, any duration, regardless of the number of circles and complexity of the exercises, gives an effective result, since this is a high-intensity training.

As Sergey Malyshev, a certified fitness trainer at the FitZone network of fitness clubs, notes, the heavy load is due to an increase in heart rate while performing a circle and maintaining it at a high level of 60%-90% of its normal state. It’s all about short rest periods between exercises – from 5-20 seconds. Experienced athletes prefer not to rest at all, but be sure to recover during breaks between laps (lasting from 1 to 3 minutes). The number of circles in a workout varies from 2 to 6, each of which includes 5-15 exercises. This scheme develops not only muscle strength, but also related energy systems, including the cardiovascular and circulatory systems.

At the same time, each athlete can choose his favorite type of training, since circuit training is only a way to build a training plan, based on determining the type of load according to the specialization of the main sport. The most popular types of circuit classes:

1. Basic circular – aimed at maximizing the development of strength indicators with the exception of profile exercises and the use of basic multi-joint exercises

2. Bodybuilding circuit – aimed at the harmonious development of the body and preparing a beginner for the transition to a split.

3. Athletics – allows you to maximize speed performance with the basic development of muscle groups.

4. Tabata protocol – promotes the development of endurance and weight loss in conditions of minimal training duration.

5.CrossFit – helps develop functional strength and endurance by combining the principles of weightlifting and athletics.

It is important to understand that absolutely any type of exercise can be adapted to the principles of basic circuit training. Regardless of the type chosen, the result is the same – working out the whole body in one workout.


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