Circuit Training: Everything you wanted to know about Posted in: Workout – Tags: ,

There are many options for exercising at home, but circuit training remains one of the most popular schemes. Today we will try to figure out what kind of training it is, what are their direct benefits and what rules must be followed for more effective benefits from training. And at the end, we’ll give you an example of solid circuit training, which will help you to get a little better. But first things first.

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is a set of several exercises to be performed in one approach. With their implementation, the “circle” is completed. Than after you’ll rest for a few minutes the whole cycle must be repeated again. This continues several times. Rest between exercises within one circle is minimal. Circuit training exercises are selected in such a way that they use the maximum amount of body muscles. They are performed with a large number of repetitions and relatively small weights. This is called “pumping”, and this mode provides the most intense blood circulation throughout the body.

What is circuit training for?

Circuit training is the most effective way to lose weight through exercise and should be combined with a proper diet. Why does circuit training help you burn fat? We can say that circuit training is a cross between cardio and regular strength training. With cardio, it is brought together by high intensity and a large number of repetitions, with strength – the use of general exercises and dumbbells.

circuit training
circuit training

However, it is important to understand that although circuit training is outwardly closer to strength training, you will not be able to build large muscles with their help. The fact is that muscles grow intensively only after using large weights, which is excluded in circular training. However, the constant change of exercises that make blood flow to one or another part of your body and work inside the aerobic zone (60% -70% of your maximum heart rate, which, in turn, is calculated according to the formula “220 is your age” ) include fat burning mechanisms.

Who should NOT do this kind of training?

First of all, this type of training is contraindicated for people with high blood pressure, chronic diseases or heart problems. Also, avoid exercising if you are on a low-carb diet – high-intensity activities can cause hypoglycemia or fainting. Do not forget that active physical activity can provoke an increase in cortisol, cause overtraining or chronic fatigue. Therefore, if you are a beginner, practice cyclic training no more than 2-3 per week.

Who should NOT do this kind of training?
Who should NOT do this kind of training?

Before moving on to the rules and the exercises themselves, let’s summarize by compiling all the pros and cons of this type of training.

Circuit Training Benefits:

  • Increases the body’s endurance.
  • Improves muscle tone.
  • Saves time, as the high pace quickly works out the whole body per workout.
  • Strengthens the cardiovascular system.
  • Improves metabolism.

Disadvantages of circuit training:

  • Not suitable for people with cardiovascular and chronic diseases.
  • You cannot use this type of training on a low-carb diet, as it can lead to hypoglycemic coma.

How to do it correctly?

After you have been able to convince yourself of the benefits of circuit training and take into account all its disadvantages, let’s move on to the fundamental key point. As with any other type of training, there are rules. To ignore them is to endanger your health, which no one needs. Therefore, do not forget to follow the rules below so that circuit training will only benefit you.

  • do not engage in circular training more than three times a week, and at the initial stage of training, do not resort to this type of load more than two times;
  • do a warm-up to prepare the body for the load;
  • observe the rest time between circles and exercises;
  • do not use too large weights;
  • do not exercise for more than an hour at a high pace;
  • do not forget to cool down to speed up recovery after a hard workout;
  • pay sufficient attention to recovery: nutrition and sleep;
  • use sports supplements that will accelerate recovery and lead to the desired result faster.

In general, the aspects of performing the exercises are practically the same as those used in ordinary exercises at home or in the gym.

Circular workout with dumbbells

The advantage of circular training with dumbbells is that if you have collapsible dumbbells or a set of dumbbells of various weights, you can improve your body without leaving home. Dumbbells allow you to achieve excellent stress load on the whole body, which means that they give tangible gains to maintain physical shape, strengthen muscles and build muscle mass.

Exercises in the proposed training set can be varied and rearranged so that one circle consisted of 3-8 exercises, and training – from 1-7 such circles. The amount of exercise as well as laps should vary depending on your fitness.

Circuit Training Set:

1. Incline Bench Dumbbell Row. Take dumbbells and lie down on the bench, having previously fixed an angle of 45 degrees on it. Turn your arms to face each other. Bend at your chest, bring your shoulder blades together and pull the dumbbells to your waist. Hold for a second and return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Incline Bench Dumbbell Row (Circuit Training Set)
Incline Bench Dumbbell Row (Circuit Training Set)

2. Seated Dumbbell Press. Sit on a bench with dumbbells in lowered hands. Lift the dumbbells up, bending your elbows. Then, with your back straight, push the dumbbells up over your head. Hold for a second and return to the starting position. Do 12 reps.

Seated Dumbbell Press
Seated Dumbbell Press

3. Dumbbell Backward Lunge. Take dumbbells in your hands, place your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right foot and lower yourself into a deep lunge with your knee on the floor. Then return to the original position and repeat the movement for the left leg. Do 12 reps for each leg.

Dumbbell Backward Lunge (Circuit Training Set)
Dumbbell Backward Lunge

4. Inner-Biceps Curl. Take dumbbells in both hands. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise both your dumbbells until they reach your shoulders’ height by bending your elbows and at the same time turning your palms towards you. Hold for a second, then lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Inner-Biceps Curl (Circuit Training Set)
Inner-Biceps Curl

5. Dumbbell Row. Go to the bench, put your right knee on it. Place your right hand on the bench. The angle at the hip joint should be approximately 90 degrees. Keep your back straight. Keep your head so that your gaze is parallel to the floor. Take the dumbbell so that the bar is parallel to your body. Using the strength of the latissimus dorsi muscle, pull the dumbbell towards the waist. Bring your elbow up. The spine remains in a straight position. After holding at the top point for 1 second, lower the dumbbell down. Do 10 reps on each side.

Dumbbell Row
Dumbbell Row

6. Forward Dumbbell Lunges. Do everything in the same way as described in paragraph 3, but now the leg should go forward, not back. Do 15 repetitions for each side.

7. Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension. Stand with a dumbbell so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Raise your hand with a dumbbell straight up. You can place your free hand on the belt or support the shoulder with it from the side of the hand performing the exercise. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles in constant tension. Smoothly bending your arm, wind the dumbbell behind your head. The shoulder of the arm should remain motionless, and the elbow should be directed upward. At the lowest point, pause for a second without relaxing the muscles. Smoothly unbending your arm, return your arm to its original position. Do 10 reps for each hand.

Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension (Circuit Training Set)
Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

8. The Bench Dumbbell Climb. Place a bench in a step away from you. Take dumbbells in both hands and step on the bench with your right foot. Lift up only with the strength of the right leg. Then go down. Repeat the same with the left foot. Do 10 reps for each leg.

The Bench Dumbbell Climb
The Bench Dumbbell Climb

Important! Perform all exercises in one cycle in order. Try to rest between them no more than 15 seconds. After completing the circle, rest for 3 minutes, then go 2-3 more times the whole circle in the same sequence.


Observing these simple rules, circuit training will noticeably and quickly change you for the better: immunity and metabolism will improve, fat will start to go away, and muscle mass will grow. However, do not forget that health and beauty of the body is ensured not only by physical activity, but also by observing proper nutrition, daily regimen and sufficient water intake.

circuit training will noticeably and quickly change you for the better
circuit training will noticeably and quickly change you for the better
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