Circuit Training For Weight Loss

Circuit training for weight loss

Circuit training for weight loss, is it possible? And the simple answer is, of course it is. Any form of exercise can be utilized for helping you to lose weight. That is as long as you are aware of how to manipulate the four variables which make this possible:

  • Duration
  • Intensity
  • Fuel
  • Calorie Control


A circuit training regime designed for weight loss will normally have 9 to 12 exercises in the circuit. Each exercise can have a volume of between 30 – 45 seconds and each circuit could be repeated 3 – 5 times. If you do the maths, a circuits training session of this type can therefore have durations of between 20 - 45 minutes.

The time period suggested allows the body to reach steady state and for the aerobic energy system to begin the process of the breakdown of fats as the primary fuel source for the exercise.

The extended duration of the type of circuit training suggested, ensure that fat is a major contributor as a fuel source. And if for no other reason, circuit training of the type suggested is a useful method of training when the goal is weight loss.


If an exercise is very intense the body use glycogen as its primary fuel source. Under these circumstances the fuel supply is quickly replenished from stores in the muscle cell and liver. But as already established, for weight loss we want to utilize fats as the major fuel source. Most circuit training routines will operate at around 85% of your maximum intensity. At this level of intensity you will normally be able to work for about 40 – 60 seconds before fatigue forces you to stop.

This is a perfect scenario for anyone wanting to use circuit training for weight loss. The intensity of the work units must allow you to complete at least 30 seconds of continuous work. And with the frequent changes in muscle groups, you are able to work for longer periods of time and so burn more calories than if the intensity of exercise is very high.

Circuit training for weight loss


Working sub-maximally call on your glycogen stores to fuel the exercise. However, due to the extended duration of the exercise session, the body has time to start up its fat burning metabolism. This enables the body to utilize both fat and glycogen as its fuel source. The consequence of this is that by using the fat store in the body as one of its fuel source, you will not only change shape but also tend to lose weight.

Calorie Control

Whether you are training to be an elite athlete or you are using circuit training for weight loss, you still have to control the amount of calories you take in. At worst, the calories you take in must equal the calories you expend. Under these circumstances you will change shape rather than lose weight as your body utilize stored fat to fuel your exercise regime, but you will not necessarily lose weight!

To lose weight:

  • You should first calculate your current daily calorie needs (not including your exercise program)
  • Maintain your current daily calorie intake, as you introduce the exercise program into your life style
  • In this way, your exercise regime become the means by which you expend more calories than you in take in
  • Your resting metabolism will also be higher once you begin to exercise and so you will burn more calories at rest, just for being fitter than you were

Here is a simple workout:

Order Exercises
Triceps Press
Sit Ups (chrunces)
Squats Thrusts
Back Raise
Side Raise (A)
Split Jumps
Press Ups
Rocking Back Raises
Free Squats
Side Raise (B)
V - Sit Ups

Progression Variables:

  • Begin with 3 sets
  • Maintain the volume and increase the sets up to a maximum of 5 sets
  • Drop the sets back down to 3, as the volume increases
  • Progress the sets back up to 5 again while maintaining the new volume

Volume Variables:

  • Begin with 20 second exercise work units
  • Maintain the same volume as the sets increase up to 5
  • When the set drops back to 3, increase the volume by 5 seconds
Week One 3 sets @ 20sec
Week Two 4 sets @ 20sec
Week Three 5 sets @ 20sec
Week Four 3 sets @ 25sec
Week Five 4 sets @ 25sec
Week Six 5 sets @ 25sec

Circuit training for weight loss or for any other reason is best done in a group, so get a group of friends together and enjoy the comradeship of working out together.

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