The high-intensity interval training (HIIT) I committed to awhile back was great. It offered up some variety to the workout routine I’d been using, and I didn’t need to carve out another big chunk of time in my day to make it happen. I also noticed a change in my physique—enough changes to keep me motivated, for sure.
So what could I try next that would give my workout a boost?
Circuit training is a workout technique that’s been around for years. It involves completing a group of 6 to 10 exercises one after another in a predetermined sequence. Typically, you run through the circuit up to 3 times per workout. The exercises can include both strength and cardio or just one or the other. You can work your whole body or target a specific area. The options are endless.
Why circuit training? Well, for starters it’s not all that different from a HIIT workout. Since I enjoy HIIT, it stands to reason that circuit training would hold my interest as well. The variety is definitely another selling point, but there are other benefits that make circuit training attractive:
- It’s a time-saver: Since this workout can include both strength and cardio, you can take care of both in one shot. We’re still at a busy stage in life with our boys, so anything that helps me get more done without added stress is desirable.
- There’s no fuss: If you belong to a gym that offers circuit training, you’re all set. If not, you can still incorporate it into your routine, and it can be whatever you want. Search online for circuit training ideas or come up with your own. Don’t care for one of the exercises once you get started? Switch it out for a different one. No fuss!
- It boosts your metabolism: Similar to HIIT workouts, circuit training workouts that combine strength and cardio moves burn more fat—thus boosting your metabolism—than performing either separately. Plus, don’t forget that afterburn effect of a HIIT workout—circuit training provides it too.
- You can go at your own pace: Depending where you are when you start, you can complete just one circuit of the exercises. As you get stronger, you can build up to three circuits. You can also increase the number of reps of each exercise.
I recently splurged and bought myself a kettlebell. When I was deciding what circuit training routine I wanted to follow, I searched for ones that would allow me to “become one” with my new toy. I decided to go with this 20-minute kettlebell workout from Experience L!fe.
I’m so excited about the boost that circuit training is bringing to my exercise regime. What about you? Have you ever used circuit training to amp up your workout?
Inset photo from iStock/Bojan656