A Circuit Training Workout for Strength Endurance

Now, here is a question, what circuit training workout best satisfies your needs? 

In a general sense circuit training can be defined as the “one-stop” training method to accomplish all your fitness goals. Why? Well, Circuit training was designed as a way to achieve two fitness goals simultaneously, both strength and endurance. It is a training method that elite level sportspeople, as well as the fitness enthusiast,  employ.

However, this broad spectrum of participation makes it necessary in my opinion for you to design your circuit training workout in a way that targets the very specific fitness needs you might have.

Elsewhere on this site we have already looked at how you might target strength development with circuit training. In this article, we are going to look at strength endurance as your fitness objective. You can define strength endurance as your ability to exert high levels of force in a climate of fatigue.

In everyday living, there is little need for strength endurance, but there are few participators of sports who would not benefit from a good dose of muscular endurance. All sports to some degree have the need for this sub-set of strength.  It is important in all running events in track and field from 100 meters upwards. It is important in field sports towards the end of the game, it is also important in sports such as Boxing, Wrestling, and Judo.

A Circuit Training Workout for You

So how do you skew our circuit training workout to focus on muscular endurance?

We are going to follow the same format as we did in the article where we focused our circuit training program on strength. In that article, we looked at manipulating the training variables to arrive at our particular outcome. We are going to be doing the same here.


As you know, the resistances element of your circuit training workout can vary from zero up to 60% of your 1RM. Moreover, for strength endurance the load element of your training program needs to be reasonably high if it is to promote strength development. However, it cannot be so high that you are unable to complete the exercise. It is for this reason that you would set your load at between 30% and 50% of your 1RM.


The rest between exercise stations can range from zero up to 45 seconds. Therefore, your recovery between training stations should be viewed as a continuum. In this respect, the continuum has a sliding scale where zero represents a workout aimed towards endurance.  45 seconds is targeted more towards strength.

Therefore, the more rest you take between stations, the more you allow your body to recover from its previous exertions. Adequate recovery makes it more likely that you will be able to complete the next station in an efficient manner. On the other hand, taking less rest, you risk making the next exercise impossible to finish.

However, the mindset for a strength endurance circuit workout is to strive to finish the session. Therefore, your rest recovery should be set at around the mid-point or just below this point, i.e. twenty to thirty seconds.

Exercise Duration

The length of your circuit training workout at each exercise station will tend to be between the ranges of 20-45 seconds. However, to acquire the quality known as strength endurance, the volume of the activity must require you to strive to complete the workout. It cannot therefore be so short that you find it easy to complete.

Equally, it cannot be so long that you are forced to stop before you come to the end of your workout. It is my opinion, however, that the length of the exercise duration should lean more toward being difficult than easy. Organizing training in this way would give you an exercise period that is between 30 and 40 seconds.


Training for strength endurance will make high demands of your anaerobic energy system. Exercising anaerobically requires that you train at a reasonably high intensity. In this instance, high-intensity training means exercising at a high tempo or rhythm.

The Formula for Strength Endurance

The formula below for muscular endurance looks very different from the example given for circuit training for strength.

Training Variables Training Effort
Load Medium - High
Rest Low - Medium
Duration Medium - High
Intensity Medium - High

As you can see, you don’t have to generalize your circuit training workout. You can laser target your training for very accurate training results.

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