circuit-training

Circuit training is going to be the third and final format of the home-workout series. As I have mentioned before, it is important to stay active even when you find yourself locked up inside.

Usually, the challenge that comes with home-workouts is the lack of equipment, but that should trouble you no more. Body-weight exercises and workouts can offer a surprising amount of results when performed with the right format. Your best options are:

All three formats will offer you a wildly versatile and effective workout option that you can perform nearly anywhere. Depending on how much time you are willing to dedicate to them you can build a workout schedule that works perfectly for you.

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is based on the same principles as the two previous formats of EMOM and AMRAP. The point is to be performing a series of different exercises back to back with minimum rest. That means that such workouts are very time efficient and a full session can be done in less than 30 minutes.

A circuit workout consists of cycles of exercises. A cycle is completed when you go through all the chosen exercises once, that should be between 8 and 10 exercises. You then repeat the cycle.

The short rest character and the high intensity can have similar effects with HIIT. What that means is that both focus on short bursts of energy but with different goals in mind. They both have a higher level of intensity as you have to do more in less time.

The result of that is the elevated heart rate that burns more calories, both while exercising as well as long after your workout is finished. They both have the endurance part common, though circuit training is more focused on strength rather than cardiovascular performance. That means that you can get the benefits out of both worlds.

exercise

Benefits of circuit training

As discussed in previous posts, the benefits of the three training formats, AMRAP, EMOM and CIRCUIT are pretty similar.

Time-efficient

Not only can you perform a full-body workout in under 30 minutes, but you can also get very creative with mixing and matching your exercises. Circuit training can be a great combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise, the more often you perform them, the more your endurance will be going up. Your body gets stronger and your muscles less sore.

Vastly versatile

With such a small duration, every day can be an entirely different layout. If it is regular push-ups today, tomorrow can be incline and the day after decline push-ups. Or you can switch from strength to a more cardio-focused session. You can lay out your workout plan to serve multiple goals, like strength, endurance and mobility.

Do them anywhere

It sounds cheesy but with body-weight exercises, the world is your oyster. Whether you are locked inside due to quarantine, you don’t have access to a gym or on vacation and want to get some exercise in, you cannot go wrong if you know how to train with the weight of your own body.

Full-body workouts

With full-body workouts that only last 30 minutes, you can be training as many times in the week as you want. Full-body regimes are unmatched when you want to be putting in more work. We know by now that training each muscle at least twice a week is optimal for hypertrophy, something that is very easily done with a format such as this.

Incorporate them into your existing regime

Do you have access to a gym or a home gym? Well, first of all, lucky you! If you have weights available for your workout, you can be performing a similar workout to your current one with a circuit format, do mind the repetitions when using weight. You can also use it as a finisher if you want that extra pump when your muscles are already warm.

circuit-training

How to do it:

The first thing to take into account is that performing exercises one after the other with minimal to no rest will be pretty taxing. Incorporating a full-body regime will be important to allow one muscle group to rest while you are working on the next one.

You perform a set amount of reps for each exercise and you move straight to the next one. Going through all exercises means one completed cycle. Depending on how long you are willing to train, you will be repeating the cycle as many times accordingly.

Start by putting the priority on lower body compound movements such as squats, lunges and dead-lifts. Then move to the next related muscle group, the back. The back on many occasions works as a secondary muscle group to the lower body exercises. After completing the back, finish the pulling part of the workout by working on biceps.

The last three should be performed in the order of, chest, shoulders and triceps. The order of your exercises should be chosen strategically to work major muscle groups first and secondary last. i.e. chest then triceps.

You should also take into account that performing the most difficult exercises first will allow you to manage your energy efficiently and distribute it accordingly. I would advise on working your back before hitting the chest as by working the opposite muscles, you prepare and warm up the parts that will work as your foundation and improve stability.

How to perform circuit training:

You must always warm-up before performing any sort of a workout. Especially in the case of a circuit workout, you must make sure to have your entire body warmed up as each exercise will be targeting a different muscle group.

Go through each exercise and perform the set amount of reps. Once you are done you go straight to the next one with as little rest as possible. The less you rest, the more oxygen your body will need, which is going to improve your stamina as well while performing anaerobic exercises.

Once you are done with all the exercises, one cycle has been completed. For a more demanding workout, perform the full cycle 2 to 3 times. I would not necessarily advise doing more than that in a single session as you want to be working a few times a week. Rest in between cycles.

The workouts

Home workout 1

  • Bottomed out squat x 15
  • Single leg heel touch squat x 10(each)
  • Single-arm dumbbell rows (water jug or backpack) x 12 (each)
  • Pull-ups x 6-8
  • Push-ups x 12
  • Chest Squeezes (hold a couple of books in between) x 12
  • Plank x 30sex – 1min
  • 12 angels and devils

Home workout 2

  • Bulgarian split squat x 10(each)
  • Jumping Squat x 10
  • Chin-ups (or inverted body-weight rows using two chairs and a broomstick) x 10
  • Back widows x 15 (squeeze at the top)
  • Decline push-up x 12
  • Cobra push up x 10
  • Leg raises x 15
  • Heel Touches x 20

Kettle-bell or dumbbell workout

  • Single arm KB clean, squat to press x 6(each)
  • KB goblet squat x 10
  • KB swings x 15
  • KB High pulls x 15
  • KB renegade row with push up x 12
  • Alternating floor (flat) press x 8 (each)
  • KB Russian twists x 20

Gym workout 1

Mind the weight for maximum performance

  • Front squat x 8
  • Barbell rows x 10
  • Push-Ups x 12
  • Diamond push-ups x 10
  • Hammer curls x 10
  • Hanging leg raises x 12

Gym workout 2

  • Dead-lift to overhead press x 10
  • Romanian split squat x 5(each)
  • Pull-ups x 8
  • Bench press x 10
  • Close grip bench press x 10
  • V-Up Tucks x 12

circuit-training

Verdict

Should you try it?

Absolutely! If you are stuck at home, you have probably already tried doing a few things to stay in shape, why not try them in a format that is certain to give you a challenge while building up your fitness, strength and aerobic capacity?

Circuit training is the third of the three training formats(EMOM, AMRAP, CIRCUIT) that you can utilize to make a killer home-workout. If you have not already, I would recommend checking out the other two as well before picking what is best for you.

As with any workout, you should never skip warming up prior to your exercise and stretching afterwards. A warm-up in any of the three variations mentioned above is going to be vital. The point of these formats is to move through the entire body by doing one exercise after the other, which means that when you start working out, your entire body should be warmed up and ready.

References and useful links:


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