Circuit training is a fast-paced form of conditioning where exercises are completed one after another with minimal rest periods. There are some great benefits that come with this style of training. These range from physiological, such as improved cholesterol, to cognitive, such as increased concentration. Circuit training has even shown to be more beneficial than steady-state endurance training (no more long monotonous runs on a treadmill!). So, how can circuit training help you?
9 Reasons to Give Circuit Training a Try
1) Circuit training improves body composition.
We assess body composition through identifiers such as: BMI, body fat percentage, body weight, muscle mass, bone mass, fat tissue mass, and metabolic age. Circuit training can significantly decrease weight and metabolic age by targeting fat tissue and increasing energy expenditure.
2) Circuit training burns more calories.
Energy expenditure is the amount of energy a person uses to complete a specific task or function. These levels can vary based on the intensity of the activity or exercise being completed. Using more energy means our body is burning more calories. A good estimate of this burn is by measuring blood lactate. Circuit training is one proven way to induce higher levels of blood lactate. A combination of circuit training and interval training can increase it up to 6.7 times above pre-exercise training levels.
3) Circuit training improves heart health.
During strenuous exercise, the heart must work harder to pump nutrient-carrying blood to be delivered to the muscles throughout the body. This additional work increases the heart rate. The more the heart is exposed to an increase in its pumping rate via exercise, the healthier it will become. The healthier it becomes, the more work it takes to elicit this increase in heart rate. This is often seen in active individuals. Circuit training has been shown to elicit a higher heart rate in active and sedentary individuals.
4) Circuit training improves peak power.
Power allows you to use the greatest amount of strength in the shortest span of time. Peak power is the maximum intensity of that power. By combining different kinds of exercise equipment into a circuit routine, like resistance machines and body weight exercises, you can increase power by up to 76%.
5) Circuit training improves motor function.
Motor function is the ability to learn or complete voluntary postures or movement patterns. Walking, running, balancing, and holding an upright position are all examples of daily living skills that require efficient motor functioning. As you age, these skills can become a bit rusty. Circuit training can improve each of these skills through various stages of life, even in patients with disabilities, such as multiple sclerosis.
6) Circuit training enhances reading skills.
It is widely known that exercise can improve variety of physical health factors. Did you know that it can also improve cognition function as well? Studies have been done to test this theory on a variety of modalities from treadmills to cycling ergometers. One of the most versatile modalities that have proven to increase cognition is circuit training. Just 30 minutes of circuit training has been shown to significantly increase the word reading scores in children.
7) Circuit training improves brain functioning.\
A single bout of high intensity circuit training using body weight as resistance has been shown to improve concentration and spatial memory. In case you want to try this brain booster out for yourself, the circuit in the study consisted of 10 exercises completed for 30 seconds each with a 10 second rest in between. They repeated the circuit three times with a two-minute break in between circuits.
8) Circuit training improves cholesterol levels more than endurance training.
Poor cholesterol levels are commonly associated with a risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. Circuit and endurance training both decrease these risks by improving blood lipid (cholesterol) levels. So, which one provides a greater benefit? Circuit training, by far! High intensity circuit training shows a decrease that is five times greater than what endurance training provides. Even low intensity circuit training provides more benefit than endurance training alone.
9) Circuit training improves blood pressure.
Different levels of intensity in circuit training provide varying positive effects on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Low intensity circuit training (LICT) has shown the greatest effect on systolic blood pressure while high intensity circuit training (HICT) has shown the greatest effect on diastolic blood pressure. Mix it up to maximize your results!
Train faster for more results: High intensity circuit training provides more dramatic benefits than low intensity circuit training. Training at a faster pace produces more of a significant decline in fat mass, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL-C (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and a greater increase in HDL-C (good cholesterol) than the same type of low intensity circuit training.
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