Circuit weight training is an approach to physical fitness that involves quick bursts of exercise with minimal intervals between each burst. The “circuit” in the term is a reference to the fact that people usually move around a circuit to access different types of weight training equipment during their exercise sessions. People complete at least three circuits in a session. This type of exercise program can be done in a gym or at home and it is possible to develop a customized circuit with the assistance of a physical trainer.
Weight training is intended to act as a supplement to other forms of exercise. In weight training sessions, people lift weights to develop strength and muscle tone. Circuit weight training adds an aerobic element, which provides a cardiovascular workout. People who engage in circuit weight training can lose weight, add muscle tone, and improve their cardiovascular health. In addition, this form of exercise also enhances endurance.
In a circuit, people lift weights, work with resistance machines, or do aerobics moves that work different areas of the body. Between stations, exercisers take a 10 to 30 second rest, during which they usually keep moving by doing something like jogging in place. This keeps the heart rate up and the muscles warm. The weight lifted at each station can be adjusted depending on the needs of the athlete. People trying to lose weight and enhance tone might lift light weights and go for many repetitions, while people developing bigger muscles would use heavier weights and fewer repetitions.
A weight training circuit can be customized for the needs of a specific athlete. Evidence supports the use of circuit weight training for people at varying levels of physical fitness and the ability to tailor the circuit allows for a great deal of flexibility. This form of exercise can enhance a physical therapy program, promote weight loss, and develop strength and endurance for athletes involved in a wide variety of sports.
As with all exercise programs, it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting circuit weight training, in case there are contraindications that might make it dangerous. It is also advisable to work with a personal trainer to develop a routine and learn how to exercise safely and effectively. Personal trainers can provide advice on form and style that will help people maximize their workouts. Gyms that have an open area for circuit weight training may station an employee there to keep an eye on workouts and provide assistance and advice as needed.