Circuit Training Workout Plan

Circuit Training Workout Plan
Sometimes finding the time and energy to vary your normal workout routine can be a challenge. Normal workout regimes tend to focus on specific muscle groups. But circuit training targets multiple muscle groups in the context of different predetermined workout "stations." This makes it easy to tailor your circuit-training plans to varying time constraints. Plus, according to Liz Neporent at fitnessmagazine.com, an all-strength circuit-training plan "burns 30 percent more calories (about nine per minute!) than a typical weight workout and offers more cardio benefits."

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Circuit Training Workout Plan

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pen Paper Stopwatch Chair Two 5-lb. weights Jump rope
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Stopwatch
  • Chair
  • Two 5-lb. weights
  • Jump rope
Step 1
Consider your time and location constraints. Do you have 15 minutes? Thirty minutes? Access to stairs and a running path? The specific exercises you will include in your circuit-training plan will depend on your time, location and muscle-group preferences. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults between the ages 18 and 65 get "30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week," so aim for a circuit-training plan totaling 30 minutes.
Step 2
Choose 10 circuit-training exercises, optimally alternating between aerobic and anaerobic activities. Exercises could include: running in place; running up and down stairs; squats (making sure not to overextend your knees!); push-ups; sit-ups; jump rope; bicep curls (using the 5-lb. weights and alternating between your left and right arms); jumping jacks; wall sits (sit against a wall as if you are sitting in a chair, focusing on keeping your knees hip-width apart and your thighs at a 90-degree angle with the floor); and a rest station.
Step 3
Write down the order of your stations on a piece of paper, choosing exercises that focus on different muscle groups. Keep the paper with your stopwatch to serve as a reminder as you go through the stations.
Step 4
Set up the stations in the order you want to do them. Have a jump-roping station? Lay out your jump rope in an open area. Planning to do bicep curls? Set out your 5-lb. weights near the adjacent stations so you don't lose time when moving from one station to another. Keep in mind that some stations, such as running in place, won't need any special equipment.
Step 5
Set your watch or stopwatch for 50-second increments (you will be spending 50 seconds at each station, with 10 seconds to move between stations) and get started! If you have 10 stations in your circuit-training plan, try to complete three circuits.

Tips & Warnings

 
Place your rest station after an exercise that is particularly difficult for you. If you are new to circuit training, start by alternating each station with a rest station as you build up your endurance and fitness levels. For motivation, recruit a few friends to go through the circuit-training working with you. Each person will start at a different station. If you don't have 5-lb. weights readily available, fill up two equally sized water bottles and use them for weights.
 
Place your rest station after an exercise that is particularly difficult for you. If you are new to circuit training, start by alternating each station with a rest station as you build up your endurance and fitness levels.
 
For motivation, recruit a few friends to go through the circuit-training working with you. Each person will start at a different station.
 
If you don't have 5-lb. weights readily available, fill up two equally sized water bottles and use them for weights.
 
Circuit training is not intended to bulk you up, but to build your aerobic endurance and tone different muscle groups.

Article Written By Susan Heller

Susan Heller is a Seattle-based freelance writer who has been writing outdoor-related articles for five years. Her work has appeared in "University Week," the "Ballard News-Tribune," and backpackgeartest.org. In 2004 she was named a Mary Gates Scholar, and in 2005 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative History of Ideas and Comparative Religion from the University of Washington.

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