Do you want to build up endurance, strength, power, and stamina? Are you ready to up your fitness game? Then circuit training may be the ideal exercise regimen for you!
Circuit training is a high-intensity series of consecutive, timed exercises. These exercises are executed one after another with varying periods of rest between each set. The dynamic and flexible style of circuit training makes the routines challenging, fun, and exciting.
Circuit workouts can be personalised according to your fitness goals and skill level. The timed exercise-and-rest sequence means you don’t waste time between sets. You can also do circuit training almost anywhere as it requires little-to-no specialised equipment. Finally, you can do circuit training solo, with a partner, or with friends – making group circuit training a popular workout option.
But unlike weight training or cardio, where you can rest as needed, the fast pace and strict timed rest periods in circuit training put more stress on your body. This is what makes it such an effective workout, but it’s important to give your body enough time to recuperate between circuit training sessions.
This article helps answer your questions about whether it’s safe and effective to do circuit training every day. Read on!
Is It Okay To Do Circuit Training Every Day?
This will depend on your fitness level and what muscle groups you’re working on. If your fitness level is high enough or you focus mainly on different muscle groups, you may be able to safely circuit train several days in a row.
In general, advocates of strength training don’t encourage working on the same muscle group on consecutive days as this can quickly lead to overtraining or injury. Since circuit training incorporates both strength and aerobic exercise, the same advice applies. Therefore, a day or two of rest after working the same body part is recommended.
However, we all have different schedules. If you are pressed for time, you can alternate your circuit workouts so that you focus primarily on a specific muscle group on one day and another muscle group on the next. This way, you can string together several circuit training sessions in a row.
Remember that all this depends on your fitness level. If you are pushing yourself enough to get the most out of your training, then you’re going to appreciate that day or two break in between sessions because circuit training done right is pretty intense.
Can I Do Circuit Training Five Days A Week?
Alternating exercises for specific muscle groups may mean you can do circuit training five days a week, with two full rest days between workouts or on the weekend. Just be aware that even if you’re not training to the point of injury, circuit training five days a week can lead to burnout. More is not always better.
Again, this depends on your fitness level and how intensely you work out when you are doing your circuit training. There’s no harm in mixing it up with other styles of exercise, and you may find your body really benefits from a wider range of workouts.
How Many Days A Week Should You Do Circuit Training?
Since circuit training is a particularly high-intensity workout that pushes your entire body to its limits quickly, it shouldn’t be done too many times a week. Two or three times a week is a good benchmark to aim towards.
Like everything in life, including fitness routines, it is always better to be safe (and sustainable) than sorry. Overtraining can lead to plateau or start to feel burnout far too early and can even cause injury in the worst-case scenario. The high-intensity nature of circuit training can lead to overtraining very quickly.
Can I Only Do Circuit Training To Get Fit?
Circuit training gives you the best of both worlds, combining strength and aerobic training. So yes, if you only do circuit training, you can still achieve increased muscle tone and better cardiovascular fitness. Many people with limited budgets or busy lives love circuit training for this reason.
Because circuit training has a strength training component, does that mean it builds strength as effectively as strength training does? If circuit training has an aerobic component, does that mean it gives you a cardiovascular workout that’s as effective as a pure aerobic workout? As the old saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” It all depends on your goals.
If your primary goal is to build muscle mass or improve your stamina when running, make sure you’re also including exercises that cater specifically to that need. But you can count on circuit training to be your regular staple workout or a great addition to your existing training program.
If you’re bored with your current exercise t and want to switch things up, if your goals are just to achieve a better level of fitness and build some general muscle tone in the process, or if you are just pressed for time, then circuit training is an excellent choice.
Can Circuit Training Replace Cardio?
Any form of training that increases your breathing and heart rate can be used as cardio training, and circuit training is a superb choice if that’s your goal.
Again, suppose you have cardio specific goals that need a more specialised focus (say, you are preparing for a marathon). In that case, circuit training alone may not be intensive enough for you. But if you want to burn fat and get in shape, you can accomplish more in fifteen minutes of circuit training than you could in an hour of generalised cardio exercise.
That’s the beauty of circuit training; it provides an excellent, high-intensity workout in a shorter amount of time.
Can I Repeat The Same Circuit Training Workout?
A surefire way to overtrain your body is to do the same workout day in and day out. Therefore, it is best to give each muscle group a solid forty-eight hours of rest between workouts.
However, circuit training is flexible in that different muscle groups can be focused on a session. Thus, if time is short and you have no choice but to circuit train in consecutive days, you can. Just make sure to listen to your body and that the workout on the following day is not the same set of the day prior.
How To Vary Your Circuit Training Routine
One of the best things about circuit training is the variety of training routines and their versatility. There are so many existing variations that you can follow, or for creative fitness lovers, you can create your workout structure to reach your goals better.
For example, you can change up your focus whenever you like, from predominantly strength training to predominantly aerobic training, or vice versa, whatever helps you reach your fitness goal. Usually, enthusiasts of circuit training switch up when they feel they need to work on a specific aspect of their fitness; for example, a bodybuilder may notice that they need to work on their endurance. Or maybe you want to bust your boredom and renew your passion for fitness after months of doing a more repetitive workout.
You can also vary your muscle group workouts. An example would be a circuit training routine for chest, triceps, and back on one day and following it up with a workout that focuses on your thighs and calves the next. Finally, you can focus on your core the day after that. Varying your muscle group focus on different workout days helps prevent overtraining or exercise-related injuries.
Because circuit training is flexible and you often don’t need weights or other equipment, you’re never limited to a specific room or location for your workout. It may sound overly simple, but don’t take a change of location for granted. Often, a change of scenery is all that’s needed to get you out of a rut.
If you are even finding circuit workouts to get a bit stale, you can always vary the length of time you train. For example, if you need things to be more intense, you can either lengthen your set by increasing your jumping jacks from one minute to a minute and fifteen seconds or reducing your rest times between circuits. If it’s been a bad day and you aren’t in fighting form to bring your best to your circuit training, don’t worry! We’ve all had those days; it might benefit you to cut down the workout times and lengthen your rest periods until you have your A-game back.
You can also change up the exercises even if they work on the same muscle groups. If you do circuit training in the gym, you can swap push-ups for bench presses because both exercises work on the chest. The same logic applies for substituting squats and leg presses for your legs or switching different types of aerobic workouts.
Even something as simple as switching the order of your circuit routine can help. Give yourself a unique challenge by doing your circuit training routine backwards or by randomising the order completely! Do the most intense exercise first, or do them alphabetically; there are so many ways of changing the order of exercises to spice up your workout.
Does Circuit Training Increase Fitness?
Circuit training is an excellent choice to increase your overall fitness level, provided that you follow the program correctly, execute the exercise in the correct form and make sure you’re doing it safely. One of the most significant benefits of circuit training is that you can train for strength, endurance, cardio and agility in the same routine.
How Much Is Too Much Strength Training?
The easiest way to overtrain your muscles is to give them insufficient rest in between workouts. Usually, they need forty-eight hours to rest and recuperate before working on them again. Also, strength training sessions that are too long can easily lead to overtraining. Unless you’re training for competition, a good workout shouldn’t take much longer than an hour.
This article is published for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and does not take into consideration your individual circumstances, medical conditions or abilities. Always consult a medical professional before beginning any program of exercise. A fitness industry professional can provide personalised advice to suit your needs.
Caity Dungey founded Pretty Brave Fitness in 2017 with one simple mission: giving everyday women the chance to be fitter and stronger, ready to tackle whatever life brings. Our workouts can be adjusted to challenge the fittest of gals or to go easy on first timers. As soon as you walk in the door, you’re a valued part of our fitness fam.