Planning For a Circuit Training Program

Planning For a Circuit Training Program

Circuit training was first developed as a method to improve general fitness. It is a great way to improve endurance, strength, and even mobility.

The initial training method consisted of a number of stations (exercises) arrange in a circle ("circuit"). In developing a routine a wide variety of exercise with and without equipment can be used. A circuit may be short (6-9 exercises) or it can be long (12-15 exercises) or indeed anywhere between the two extremes.

Exercises are organized in such a way that they alternate different muscle groups. This allows you to continue exercising for an extended period of time without completely exhausting the energy pathways.

There are a number of ways to organize a circuit training program. One way is to organize each exercise to follow on from each other in a continuous fashion without a rest period between each. Another method is to perform each exercise in sequence as before, but this time each exercise is separated by rest intervals of anything between 20 and 30 seconds.

Regardless of the method you used, the rest interval between a complete circuit can be anywhere between 1 and 3 minutes. There can be any number of circuits in a training session, usually the number is between 2 and 6 sets, depending upon your level of fitness (beginner or advanced), training objective (general or specific), and training period (competition or preparation).


There are many advantages of circuit training.

  • It develops endurance and strength
  • It provides a fitness stimulus and is therefore an excellent training method for almost all sports
  • It can be adjusted for all age groups and fitness levels
  • Circuit exercises are or can be simple to perform and most athletes can do them easily
  • Circuit sessions offer you many exercises to choose from, thus keeping variety and therefore the enthusiasm of athletes high


As in all preparation for training for sports, planning is a key ingredient for success. When devising a training program the first thing you should do is to create 3-4 different circuits with a variety of different exercises and each should also be of varying the exercise number - from between 6-12 exercises each.

As said previously, as you develop each circuit make sure that you alternate the exercise so as not to target the same muscle group consecutively - for example, don’t follow pull-ups with press-ups.

Set up the exercises in each circuit in a way that all body parts are exercised: total body, lower body, upper body, and trunk and core, etc. To plan an exercise schedule, you can write the exercise name and description on a card, and follow the cards in sequence. And as in all exercise and training workout, before you begin working on the circuits, make sure you go through thorough a warm-up at the beginning, and a cool-down at the end of the session.

Here are some examples of exercises that can be done in a circuit session:

  • For upper body: bench dips, press ups, inclined press up, chest medicine ball press
  • For trunk and core: stomach crunch, sit ups, chest raise back extension
  • For lower body: split jumps, squat jumps, step ups, astride jumps, shuttle run, bench squat
  • For total body: treadmill, skipping, squat thrust, burpees

Circuit training is a good training method for qualified athletes and general sports people alike. It is also a fantastic training method for keep fit enthusiast and a good method of exercising to aid weight loss. In 45 minutes to an hour you can expend about 600 kcals, this is good considering that you are getting cardiovascular and strength development both at the same. You can start with just 1 or 2 circuits, and then gradually progress to more as time and your fitness level dictate.

It is also a great way of introducing strength training to novice or young sports people. And for those wanting to utilize circuit training in the early preparation period of their training program. This type of training will progressively adapt the muscle and its attachment to the bone (tendons) to better cope with heavier loads in future training programs.

Learn more:

Sample Routines
Circuit training routines are designed to combine strength and cardiovascular training methods to improve general fitness and improvements can be realized in a relatively short period of time.

Circuit Training At Home - For An Improved Athletic Performance
Training at home comprises strength exercises organized in such a way that an overload can be applied to the musculoskeletal system while simultaneously stimulating the cardiovascular system.

Circuit Training For Weight Loss
Exercising is a great method for permanent weight loss and a great exercise regime is to include circuit training as part of your overall strategy.

What is Circuit Training?
The answer to what is circuit training can be more complex than it originally seems. It is methods of training which develops both strength and endurance, but that's not the whole story.

The Benefits of Circuit Training
If you have ever wondered what the true benefits of circuit training are you'll find them in this article...

Circuit Training Programs

There is a lot of agreement about the benefits of circuit training programs but do you know how to design the perfect program for your training objectives. Learn how in this article…

5 Circuit Training Equipment You Must Use
The use of equipment in your circuit training routines will add another dimension to your training.  Find out what is the 5 best pieces of circuit training equpment you need to have in your program.

Circuit Weight Training
Circuit weight training and traditional circuit training are different methods of getting and staying fit. Learn what the difference is and therfore design better training programs.

Circuit Training Workouts
Circuit training workouts can be designed to meet many fitness needs. This article deals with how you can use it to develop strength.

Circuit Training Workout for Strength Endurance
Your circuit training workout can be designed to meet any fitness goals. This article show you how you can use it to develop strength endurance.

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