When it comes to resistance training, it’s quite easy for individuals to slip into a comfort zone where they complete the same exercises, week in week out. Although, you are likely to maintain your current physique through this method, you will soon reach plateaus in your training where you simply can’t achieve anymore without altering your exercise prescription.
As much as it’s important to constantly change your exercise prescription to keep your target muscles guessing to constantly bring about developments in strength and/ or size, it’s also important to make your workouts fun and enjoyable. If this mental stimulation is not present, you will soon find yourself making excuses to avoid the gym.
So how can you keep your workouts fresh to avoid that Groundhog Day type scenario whilst taking your training to the next level? One potential answer could be circuit training. When utilised effectively, circuit training has the ability to bring about numerous health and fitness advantages. What’s more, you can tailor any workout to meet your exact needs and requirements.
So what is circuit training? Normally, this type of training consists of anywhere between 9-12 exercise stations which are put in place to target certain muscle groups and achieve a desired outcome. Having said that, you can work with fewer stations and simply repeat the circuit more times, for example 6 exercise stations each visited on 2 occasions during the circuit. Each station should require you to undertake repetitions from 8-20 dependant on the exercise goal before moving onto the next exercise with little or no rest. The amount of times you choose to complete the circuit really depends on your ability to handle pain!
Circuit training offers benefits to three distinct areas of your training, those being muscular strength, muscular endurance and body composition. Let us know consider each of these in a little further detail;
Circuit training has the ability to enhance strength levels within the target muscles. This will depend greatly on your circuits. For example, lower repetitions will bring about greater gains in strength but this must be offset against fatigue levels and rest periods between exercise stations.
Your muscle’s ability to perform continual activity over a period of time can be greatly enhanced by circuit training. Similarly to above, this will depend almost entirely on your circuit rules, but aiming for higher repetitions with little or no rest between stations will develop muscular endurance like none other.
Circuit training can bring about a direct alteration to your body composition levels due to its intensity requirements. This method of training quickly burns calories and enhances metabolic levels. The exercise selection within your circuit will also directly impact this particular benefit.
Circuit training is an efficient and effective means of training and offers something different from your normal run of the mill workouts. What’s more, if you gather a few individuals then you can all take part at the same time before moving onto alternative stations. Not only does this add enjoyment but it also enhances motivational levels, as no one wants to perform badly at any given station!
As long as you think about your end training goal and specific requirements then circuit training can definitely work for you. There will always be some trade off between muscular strength and endurance, but if you’re looking to spice up your workouts, even just once or twice a week, then circuit training could be just the thing you’re looking for.