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Circuit Training: Switching It Up
Many fitness classes apply the principles of circuit training. Learn what to expect from this fast-paced style of workout with Groupon’s guide.
Run up and down the stairs for 30 seconds. Now drop and do 30 seconds of pushups. Now, get back up for 30 seconds of jumping jacks—and just like that you’ve begun a circuit-training workout. Circuit training is a flexible workout strategy, typically encompassing 8–10 exercises or fitness stations that users cycle through two to three times with little to no rest between. Because the exercises focus on different parts of the body, the participant can move quickly from one station to the next without the muscle fatigue that might come about from, say, doing crunches for 10 minutes. This causes the heart rate to rise and remain elevated throughout the session, promoting more-sustained calorie burn and preventing the quadriceps from sneaking off somewhere to take a nap.
With their body weight, light dumbbells, resistance bands, and exercise balls, participants or their trainers can pick and choose their moves, performing each motion for a period of 30 seconds to several minutes. Body builders might use the technique to cycle through a series of weight-based exercises—each focusing on a different muscle group—whereas soccer or football players might punctuate the strength training with cardiovascular work. After 30–60 minutes, they’ll have received an extremely well-rounded workout.