How Circuit Training Can Improve Your Performance

Circuit training involves workouts in which you do multiple different strength-training exercises in a row, with a minimal rest in between. These exercises help activate and build muscles, and quickly transitioning from one to the next keeps your heart rate high. In addition to providing a cardiovascular workout, circuit training can also help increase your muscle endurance.


When it comes to a dry land regimen for endurance based sports, one of the most effective methods to build strength and endurance is circuit training. By working through resistance exercises with short recovery periods, athletes can also learn how to navigate through fatigue. Performing circuits with lighter weights while sustaining a 70- to 80-percent heart rate for 30 to 40 minutes can complement your cardiovascular training.

The idea is that doing more repetitions at a lower weight will help build up slow-twitch muscle fibers, which help increase the endurance of muscles. Circuit training has the added benefit of keeping your heart rate high, improving your overall endurance.


To structure a circuit for training, aim for a minimum of eight to 12 exercises in which the load for each exercise is 30 to 60 percent of your one-rep maximum, according to the “Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science, Rowing” by Niels Secher and Stefanos Volianitis. The menu of exercises will depend on the workout’s objective, such as training for the core musculature, upper body, lower body or total body. You can perform the exercises according to time -- 30 to 90 seconds per station with a 30-second rest interval -- or number of reps. Try to include a few exercises that tax large muscle groups, such as cleans, squats or step-ups, to boost the intensity of the circuit.

Post Outdoor Circuit

Circuits are a great way to finish an outdoor run, cycle, or row. For example, List 8 exercises of upper body, lower body and a combination of both for :40 seconds On, and :20 seconds Off. Go through 1x or 2x. You can even perform circuits that incorporate running outdoors or rowing indoors, which can improve endurance. For example, perform an outdoor circuit which combines running lengths and calisthenics. Begin with a five- to 10-minute warm-up and then run for three minutes. Stop and do 20 to 30 reps of an exercise, which can include jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, burpees, walking lunges or planks. Repeat the running-exercise interval two or three more times and then do a five- to 10-minute cool-down. It will wake up the other parts of the body and believe it or not, invigorate your overall metabolic state in a quick efficient manner


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