Circuit Training VS Conventional Training

Aug 20, 2009


Circuit training is hot right now. Many people have a love/hate relationship with circuit training because it’s tough but makes them work for a reason. Circuit training involves moving from one exercise to the next with very little break. You can use creativity to create different types of circuits, using weights, bands, body weight, swimming, running etc. What makes circuit training unique is the added element of cardiovascular endurance and using a mixture of modalities at once. The goal of circuit training is to burn a lot of calories while simultaneously working certain muscle groups to build endurance.

Conventional lifting is different. You typically lift a weight for a certain amount of repetitions then rest anywhere from 1 minute to 3 minutes until that muscle is rested enough to lift the weight again for the same or almost the same amount of repetitions. The difference is that the cardiovascular component has been almost totally eliminated to help produce more strength in your next lift which will in turn give you better gains in building muscle.

So it’s safe to say that if you’re looking to burn body fat quickly and build up cardiovascular and muscular endurance then circuit training will be better. If you’re looking to lose body fat for the long term and build muscle then conventional lifting would be better.

Now why do I see many people either do one or the other? Traditional lifters that have been training for over 10 years tend to use more conventional lifting and newbie’s tend to be attracted to circuits because they feel it will give them a better bang for their buck.

But here’s the thing: They are both good! And there definitely is a place for both of them in your program. So don’t choose one or the other, integrate both into your routine. I have found that 4 conventional workouts to 1 circuit workout has worked great for building muscle and improving your overall fitness. So go and mix it up!

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