5 Undeniable Benefits of Circuit Training for Clients

By Dominique Groom on May, 27 2021
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Dominique Groom

Dominique Groom is a certified ISSA trainer in personal training, youth fitness and corrective exercise, and adjunct professor for ISSA's College of Exercise Science and stay at home mother of three who strives to stay active as well as get others active. She has a Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports science with an emphasis in rehabilitation. Her passion is running and exercising and keeping her family active.

Circuit training is the perfect way to keep your clients interested in their workouts while still seeing results. This style of training allows clients to perform a variety of different exercises, usually 5 to 10, for a pre-set number of repetitions or amount of time with little rest in between. 

Not only does circuit training provide variety in the workout itself, but you can change the circuit for each workout or even perform multiple circuits in a single workout session. This type of training is similar to Boot Camp style workouts and HIIT workouts and can be a great tool for breaking up a client's training program while keeping them on their toes. 

There are many other benefits of circuit training for your clients—so don’t ignore this training style. Gain an understanding of why clients will love this workout style and how to implement it in your training sessions. 

Keep Reading: 5 Tips for Creating a Summer Workout Plan That Drives Results

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Benefits of Circuit Training 

Circuit training isn’t just a way to provide variety for clients. This style of training can also help them reach their weight loss and fitness goals while getting workouts done faster—and having more fun. Here are a few key ways your clients will benefit from circuit training.

 

Improve Muscular Endurance

Standard weight lifting builds muscular strength, but circuit training is a great way to improve muscular endurance and aerobic capacity as well. A study of 96 college students found that high intensity circuit training can improve muscular endurance as well as aerobic fitness thanks to the fast-moving format paired with strength training movements. The study found this to be most true for moderately fit populations—so don’t ignore this style of training for your advanced clients. 

 

Keep Workouts Quick and Efficient

Keeping a moderate to intense pace can help your clients quickly complete their workouts without losing any strength and aerobic benefits. With circuit training, clients can get a significant fat burning workout done in just 20 minutes—perfect for days when they’re crunched for time. 

Even better, clients can work their entire body if you build a full-body circuit, reaching all the important areas without wasting any time. Finally, clients will experience the afterburn of an intense workout, ensuring the benefits last well beyond your session. 

 

Improve Strength

Though strength training is the gold standard for strength gains, circuit training using resistance can help to improve clients’ maximum oxygen uptake and one rep max. To increase your clients’ strength results, consider following the protocol a 2017 study found to be most effective:

  • Plan to have 14 to 30 sessions for about 6 to 12 weeks. 
  • Each session should last at least 20 to 30 minutes at intensities between that range from 60 to 90 percent one-repetition maximum. 

Increase Weight Loss and Functional Strength

Circuit training helps clients burn fat and calories, improving overall weight loss for overweight individuals. Circuit training can be a valuable fat-burning tool because the format of this training style ensures that the client always keeps moving.

In addition to body composition changes, circuit training can also help overweight women build functional strength and improve overall quality of life. Another 2017 study found that both HIIT-based circuit training and low- and high-intensity combined circuit training lead to improvements in body composition, functional strength, and certain areas of quality of life in overweight women. 

Note, however, that the “perception of pain” was higher in HIIT-based circuit training, and therefore overall motivation was lower. Combined circuit training (low and high intensity) may be a better choice for clients who struggle at higher-intensity levels.

 

Make Workouts Fun

Ultimately, circuit training keeps your client moving and mentally stimulated so they aren’t bored. The lack of rest time doesn’t leave them time to get distracted with life outside the workout. Plus if you change it up with different types of exercises for each circuit, they won't find their workouts mundane either. With just the right amount of challenge and fun, it may be an ideal training style to switch things up when clients need a little boost.

Keep Reading: 5 Steps to Create a 30-Day Cardio Challenge

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How to Set Up a Circuit Training Session 

With circuit training, the client moves through different stations/exercises and completing all of them equates to completing one circuit. When building a circuit training session for your clients, keep a few details in mind:

  • Include 5 to 10 exercises in each circuit to avoid overwhelming clients while giving them variety. 
  • Each exercise will have either a set amount of reps or time goal to be completed. This format provides you with another way to provide variety. For example, you may have one 5-exercise circuit be rep-based, with the next one being time-based.
  • Build your circuits around clients goals and needs. You might pair an upper body circuit with a workout focused on lower-body strength lifts or create a full-body circuit training session to keep the workout fast-paced while reaching each area.

Training Factors to Consider

While circuit training is a valuable tool, it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Unless following a strict protocol, like the one suggested above in the 2017 study, If it replaces strength training, you may see that your clients start experiencing diminishing returns. Instead, add circuit training into one session each week or training cycle, or when your client is crunched for time.. 

It’s also important to keep a close eye on form during circuit training. Because clients reach the point of fatigue faster you may notice they lose form more often than usual. Keep form as a major focus, even as they tire, to avoid injury. 

Lastly, be sure to plan your circuits ahead of time so you can collect and set up all the equipment needed to provide a great workout. While circuit workouts can be done with bodyweight only, clients may see the best results when strength and resistance training are core tenets of the workout. 

Keep Reading: The 30-Minute Ab Workout Busy Clients Will Love

 

Use Circuit Training With Your Clients

Your client will never be bored again with the help of a few circuit training sessions sprinkled in throughout their training program. Better yet, a well planned circuit training session can deliver the results your client wants without long training sessions, keeping clients motivated and happy with their results.

 

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Dominique Groom

Dominique Groom is a certified ISSA trainer in personal training, youth fitness and corrective exercise, and adjunct professor for ISSA's College of Exercise Science and stay at home mother of three who strives to stay active as well as get others active. She has a Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports science with an emphasis in rehabilitation. Her passion is running and exercising and keeping her family active.

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