Circuit Training Workouts: Burn Fat, Improve Muscle-Tone and Boost Strength

Circuit training is basically the combination of weight training with high intensity aerobic exercise. It is an excellent way to increase strength & endurance simultaneously, and in beginners, it can also be used to induce muscle growth!

Even though circuit training workouts typically include high intensity cardio to train metabolically and elevate your heart-rate, you can achieve some of the same effects with lifting weights alone by working within a higher repetition range & eliminating rest between sets.

Before starting a circuit training workout, its a good idea to learn the proper form on each exercise and have some practice with performing them. The recommended frequency of workouts for beginners is 3x a week, with a day of rest between each workout. A good repetition range to begin with is 15 reps to fatigue, but not to absolute failure. Basically, the 15th rep should be challenging to complete, but proper form should not be compromised.

In order to maximize the endurance and fatloss benefits, there should be NO rest between each set. This will really kickstart the fat loss benefits of this style of training.

The following exercises should be performed in the exact order given:

Dumbbell Lunges - 1 x 15 Reps
Bench Press - 1 x 15 Reps
Leg Curls - 1 x 15 Reps
Military Press - 1 x 15 Reps
Leg Extensions - 1 x 15 Reps
Seated Rows - 1 x 15 Reps
Leg Press - 1 x 15 Reps
Dumbbell Curls - 1 x 15 Reps
Calf Raises - 1 x 15 Reps
Triceps Rope Pushdown - 1 x 15 Reps
Ab Bicycles - 1 x 15 Reps
*See pictures & descriptions of weight lifting exercises

1st Week:

Perform 1 Circuit 3x a week. 30 minutes of cardio after the weight training is recommended to further boost fatloss.

2nd Week:

Perform 2 Circuits 3x a week. 20 minutes of cardio after the weight training is recommended.

3rd Week:

Depending on your level of soreness from the previous week, you can either stick to 2 circuits or move up to 3 Circuits 3x a week. 20 minutes of cardio after the weight training is recommended.

4th Week:

Perform 3 circuits 3x a week. Cardio becomes optional at this point depending on your level of fatigue.

5th Week:

Perform 3 or 4 circuits 3x a week. Cardio is no longer recommended on the days you lift weights. Its better to incorporate cardio on non-weight training days.

6th Week:

Perform 4 circuits 3x a week. Cardio is no longer recommended on the days you lift weights. Its better to incorporate cardio on non-weight training days.

By completing six weeks in this manner, you've progressively increased the overall workout volume and should be seeing tremendous gains in strength, muscle tone and even muscle mass(depending on your diet).

Increasing Intensity

At this point, you can increase the weights on each exercise to increase the intensity and start by doing 2-3 circuits and work your way back up to 4 circuits. You can continue to follow this pattern of increasing the loads until you reach the 8-10 repetition range.

Once the loads get heavier and heavier, it'll be very difficult to maintain a circuit training style, at which point you'll need to increase rest times and employ a different type of routine to continue gaining muscle...

However, if conditioning and improving muscle tone is your goal, you can stick to circuit training in the 10-12 repetition range to maintain and stay in great shape. Incorporating progressively intense cardio on non-lifting days is another way to boost the results from training.

Here are 2 additional Fat Loss Workouts when following a traditional "cutting" cycle.