Adding Circuit Training to Your Gym Routine

by Kara Federowicz
Kara and Mike-nologo

Are you bored of your gym routine? Are you looking to make some amazing changes to your body? Introducing circuit training to your current routine (not replacing it!) will motivate you, keep you focused, and leave you (happily) breathless.

I always stick to the phrase “if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” Too often we get “stuck” in a routine that we are comfortable with. As humans, we are creatures of habit. As a personal trainer, I see this all time. On any given day of the week I know exactly which machines at the gym will be crowded and what part of the body people will be focusing on:

Monday: Monday is practically National Chest and Tricep Day at the gym–there is usually at least a 30 minute wait at the bench press.
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders and Traps (the trapezius muscle)
Friday: 6 pack ABS, ABS, ABS
Saturday: Arms

Why do we limit ourselves to following the same routines week after week? I’m not saying they’re bad habits. With the right diet and enough hours spent in the gym they do work. However, they are not the end-all-be-all and introducing circuit training into your workout is time efficient and fun. You can even use your own body weight for resistance—no more waiting in long lines at the machines!

So let me say it again: If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

Implementing circuit training will not be easy, but it does offer great benefits. Pairing exercises that work opposing muscle groups allows for less rest time, which in turn keeps your heart rate elevated, which will lead to an increase of calorie expenditure. Burn more calories in less workout time? Sounds good to me!

Circuit training can be done in either sets and repetitions or for a set amount of time. Depending on what your goals are for your body and mindset these can easily be altered. If you are brand new to circuit training, here is an example of a total body circuit that is fun and energetic. It incorporates cardio, strength training, and core strength all in one. Complete each of the following exercises 10 times for a total of 3 rounds. Modify exercises to your own fitness level if necessary and always use proper form. Consult a qualified fitness professional such as a certified personal trainer if you have questions about what exercises are right for you and how to perform them correctly.

Example circuit workout:

  1. Push-ups
  2. Straight leg sit-ups
  3. Squats
  4. Inverted Rows (also known as horizontal pull-ups)
  5. Jumprope for 30 seconds

Challenge yourself by using different exercises. Remember: training should be fun. Grab a friend and try circuit training together and enjoy the way you feel after! Happy (circuit) Training!

Kara Federowicz is a certified personal trainer at the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. Kara has a degree from Penn State in kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement.

Topics: Featured, Rehabilitation and Fitness
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The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

Comments

Chelsea Sawyer says:

Running circuits can really be tiring, but it””ll all be worth it as running is one among the best way to increase cardio and stamina.
But remember to opt for massages once in a while :)

Mike @ BestRomanChair says:

Circuit training is a great way to combine cardio with weight training. If you focus on either strength or endurance with your regimen, you can really build up stamina. I”m a big advocate!

HSS on the Move says:

Hi Mike, thank you for the feedback!

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