How to Complete a Circuit Training Workout - dummies

How to Complete a Circuit Training Workout

Circuit training is a unique method of working out that combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training. A typical circuit training routine includes a warm-up, followed by a succession of strength-building exercises at stations (in between which you walk fast or run), followed by a cooldown.

After your stations are set up and you’ve determined which exercises you’ll do and what order to follow, use these steps to help build your circuit-training workout:

  1. For your warm-up, either outside or on indoor equipment, run, walk, cycle, swim, or do any other cardiovascular activity for 5 to 20 minutes.

    The amount of time spent on this step should depend on how much you’re currently working out each day, and how long you want your overall workout to be.

  2. When you get back, immediately begin your circuit-training workout.

    You can stop for a quick drink of water, if you absolutely need it. But don’t walk around or chit-chat with neighbors or anything like that. Do your warm-up, and then go right to the first station, where you want to ease into your first few strength exercises by using slow, methodical movements.

  3. Set the timer on your watch for 20 to 45 seconds (start on the low end, and gradually build up) and before you begin doing an exercise at the first station, start the timer.

  4. When your watch beeps, briskly walk or run to the next station, set the timer again, and immediately begin doing the next exercise.

  5. When the watch beeps again, proceed to the next station, and so on.

  6. Repeat the entire circuit (all the exercises) at least once.

    You can do as many circuits as you choose. If you’ve set up five stations with three different exercises you’re going to do at each, and you’ve set your timer for 30 seconds, the circuit routine is going to take you 7 1/2 minutes, plus walking/running time between stations, so the entire circuit may take you 10 minutes. Given this scenario, you could do three circuits, which gives you a 30-minute workout, plus your warm-up and cooldown, which gives you a grand total of 50 to 75 minutes of exercise! Not bad.

  7. When you finish the last circuit, immediately begin your 10- to 15-minute cooldown.

  8. Stretch immediately after finishing your cooldown.