Circuit Training Routines Burn Fat Faster Than Anything Else

Circuit training routines are pretty easy to design if you understand the primary goals. You don't even need an advanced degree in muscle science to set up a circuit training session that will help you burn fat in a fast total body workout.

Basically all that is involved in circuit training is you pick a handful of exercises that each target different muscle groups and then do those exercises without a break in between them. This completes one circuit. You might have heard of this before referred to as high intensity training. You rest for about a minute and then repeat. Depending on your goals you can repeat the circuit training routines numerous times in one session. For general fitness you will normally do a circuit between 1-3 times. In endurance training you might perform the circuit 5-7 times. How many times you can actually complete the cycle is going to be dependent on the exercises you pick and your current fitness level.

Advantages of Circuit Training Routines

  • It is easy to put together a fast workout program that hits the whole body in one session
  • Typically you use a lot less weight and equipment in your program design because you are focused on endurance or cardiovascular health as opposed to strength and size
  • It is an easy way for a group of beginners to get together and do a program where everyone can move at their own pace
  • They can be easily adapted to be sports specific
  • It is easy to incorporate strength, flexibility, and cardio into a single workout program
  • Circuit training, due to the high intensity level, is well suited to burn fat fast and effectively

Disadvantages of Circuit Training Routines

  • Circuits typically consist of doing each exercise for a set amount of time instead of a certain amount of reps. Doing high volume exercises in rapid succession is a poor way to build large strong muscles.
  • In a gym setting it can be difficult to capture all the equipment and/or machines you need to do your circuit without interruption.
  • Due to the non-stop motion of circuit training routines the form on lifting exercises get sacrificed easily which increases the chance of injury

A Sample Bodyweight Circuit Training Routine

Perform each exercise for 1 minute and do as many repetitions as you can. Rest for 1 minute and repeat. Perform this circuit 5-7 times.

  • Pushups
  • Situps
  • Burpees
  • Close grip pushups
  • Crunches
  • High Knees
  • Repeat

A Sample Free Weight Circuit Routine

Perform 10 reps on each exercise then immediately move to the next exercise. After completing all reps rest for 60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

  • Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Bent-Over Rows
  • Military Press
  • Plank (1 minute)

A Sample Dumbbell Circuit Routine

Perform each exercise for 1 minute then immediately move to the next exercise. After completing all reps rest for 60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

  • Lunges
  • Dumbbell Flys
  • One-Arm Rows
  • Arnold Press
  • Hanging Leg Raises or Crunches

Designing Your Own Circuit Training Routines

As you can see you have almost limitless options of putting a program together. Pick 5-12 exercises that hit different parts of your body and string them together so that they give each muscle group a little break. If you are just speeding up your weight lifting program then make each exercise based on a rep range. If you are looking for cardio or general fitness make each exercise based on a time range. I would recommend not going over 2 minutes per exercise and I would not use this strategy for a strength training program. Strength training requires plenty of rest between sets and strict form to prevent injury. Circuit training routines are really good for burning body fat, increasing your cardio conditioning, or improving your endurance. If your goal is strength or size then this is not for you.

Some people look at this method of training because of the weight loss potential involved. While I can't argue that this does burn some serious fat I would opt for calorie control and maybe doing a couple sets of burpees after my strength training workout if you are looking to build muscle as well. It really all goes back to your defining your goals. If you number one priority is weight loss then go for it. If your number one priority is strength or size then leave it alone.

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