A Closer Look at Circuit Training

If you go to big gyms like Anytime Fitness, you’ve probably heard of circuit training. The idea of circuit training seems to intimidate a lot of people but it really shouldn’t. With circuit training, working out is never boring, plus it’s a good way to strengthen your muscles and get your heart rate up simultaneously.

You’ll move through 8 to 10 exercise stations with little to no rest in between. You’ll do different exercises in each station with 10 to 25 reps, lasting between 30 to 180 seconds.

You have the option to change up the sequence, stations, and exercises. You can train at home or in the gym.

If you’ve never done circuit training before, consider working with a trainer or join a group class to familiarize yourself with each exercise and learn how to do it correctly.

Here are a few facts about circuit training you should know before giving it a go:

  • Duration: 20 to 30 minutes on average
  • Intensity Level: Medium
  • Take note that you have the choice to push yourself as hard or as gentle as you want. You can increase the intensity or workout at a more comfortable pace.
  • Target Areas: Core, Arms, Legs, Glutes, Back
  • Type of Workout: Flexibility, Aerobic, Strength

Other Things to Know

Circuit training is a good option for beginners because you have the option to choose exercises that suit you. You can go for low-impact workouts if you’re a newbie. You can also use exercises that utilize body weight (push-ups, lunges, planks, etc), go for workouts that use equipment in the gym or even do some sort of fitness trail. It’s all up to you.

Recommended Upper Body Circuit Training Program

We’ve found an excellent circuit training video published by Fitness Blender on Youtube that focuses on upper body training. There are 4 circuits, 2 focusing on unilateral movements which target your core. The 3rd and 4th circuits are mostly combination workouts so you are able to complete 2 moves in one involving similar muscle groups.

You can watch the video here:

Warm Up (7 minutes)

  • 30 seconds each with no rest
  • Jump Rope, Arm Circles, Torso Rotations and Squats, Jumping Jacks, Inchworm, Down-Dog, Shoulder Taps, Double Pulse Running Man

Circuit Format:

45 seconds work / 15 seconds rest

2 rounds (with no rest between rounds)

Weight selections: You can start with 8-1o pounds

Circuit #1:

One Exercise

  • Arnold Presses
  • High Wide Row
  • Push-Ups with Bottom Pause

Circuit #2:


  • Single-Arm Overhead Press – Right side
  • Single-Arm Low Row – Right side
  • Single-Arm Overhead Press – Left side
  • Single-Arm Low Row – Left side

Circuit #3:

Combination Exercises 

  • Reverse Fly + Hammer Curl
  • Forward + Lateral Raise
  • Sphinx Press-Ups

Circuit #4:


  • Single-Arm Biceps Curl – Right side
  • Single-Arm Scaption – Right side
  • Single-Arm Biceps Curl – Left side
  • Single-Arm Scaption – Left side

Cool Down: (5 minutes 30 seconds)

  • 30 seconds each
  • Shoulder Rolls 
  • Neck/Traps Stretch – Right & left side
  • Alternating Cross-Body Hugs
  • Chest Opener Stretch
  • Hug the Tree (rounded spine)
  • Overhead Triceps Extension Stretch – Right and left side
  • Arms OH – Lats Stretch – Right and left side
  • Gentle Spinal Twists

Precautions Before Doing Circuit Training

Just like with any workout, it’s important to warm up properly. Spend 5–10 minutes prepping your body with a mix of dynamic stretches and body-weight movements.

For beginners, start with less intensity, less time and less resistance. You can also put in more rest time between exercises so your body can recover.

Finally, always listen to your own body. Circuit training can be great for people of all fitness levels but you should still be wary of any pain or injuries before beginning your circuit.

What Is Circuit Training?

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