Circuit Training

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is doing a group of 4 to 10 exercises with little or no rest between exercises. For example, you might do squats for 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, do bench presses for 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, jog for 15 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and finish with jumping jacks for 15 seconds. This is one circuit. Depending on your fitness level, you might do one circuit or several circuits during each workout.

Circuit training can be done 2 to 5 days per week depending on how fit you are and how much time you have. You should not work the same part of your body 2 days in a row. Circuits can be made specific to individual sports, such as soccer, baseball, or basketball.

What are the benefits of circuit training?

  • You can exercise different muscle groups to get a total-body workout.
  • You can build strength and stay active for a longer time without getting tired.
  • You can burn calories and lose weight.
  • It is good for people who have little time to exercise. Workouts can be completed in as little as 10 minutes.
  • You can do circuit training at home or at a gym.
  • You are less likely to get bored with your workout routine since you do a variety of exercises.
  • You can make your workouts as hard or as easy as you like by changing the amount of effort and how long you rest between exercises.

What are some tips and precautions?

  • Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before you start your exercise program.
  • Start each workout with a 5-minute warm-up such as slow walking.
  • After your workout, cool down with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you have any joint or muscle pain that does not go away after doing an exercise.
  • Start slowly. At first, you might need more rest between each exercise. As you get in better shape, you can shorten your rest periods.
  • For a harder workout, jog in place instead of resting between exercises.
  • Give your body a break between workouts. Because circuit training can be intense, don’t work out 2 days in a row.
  • Every several weeks change the exercises in your circuit, or do different circuits in one workout. You could also change the number of repetitions, or the amount of weight that you use, but don’t change both at the same time.
  • If you use exercise equipment, be sure you are trained in how to use it right.

What are some examples of circuit training workouts?

Here are 2 examples of circuit training workouts. The first workout can be done at home and the other can be done on equipment at the gym:

Circuit-training workout #1

  1. Warm-up (fast walking) – 5 minutes
  2. Jumping jacks – 2 minutes
  3. Push-ups – 1 minute
  4. Jogging – 5 minutes
  5. Abdominal crunches – 2 minutes
  6. Squats – 1 minute
  7. Pull-ups – 1 minute
  8. Lunges – 30 seconds each leg

Circuit-training workout #2

  1. Warm-up (treadmill walking) – 5 minutes
  2. Leg press machine – 15 repetitions (reps)
  3. Lat pull-down machine – 15 reps
  4. Jogging on treadmill – 5 minutes
  5. Squats with dumbbells – 15 reps
  6. Biceps curls – 15 reps
  7. Hamstring curls – 15 reps
  8. Abdominal crunches – 30 reps
  9. Cycling on stationary bike – 5 minutes
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-06-30
Last reviewed: 2014-06-30
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


Your privacy is important to us. Learn more about ourwebsite privacy policy. X