For a lot of us, running is the heart and soul of our fitness routine. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but don’t forget there are ways to complement your training and even pick up some fitness benefits that running alone doesn’t always deliver.
Circuit workouts can be a great addition to your fitness plan, either as part of a dedicated routine or as an alternative workout for days that you’re stuck inside or just bored and looking to mix things up.
There are two big wins when it comes to circuit training. One is that you are breaking out of your routine and challenging yourself in ways you might not otherwise. You do have some muscles that aren’t fully engaged by the motion of running or walking, and a good circuit workout will help you find them (trust me).
Another benefit is that you’ll engage the muscles you do use for running, building muscle mass in ways that running naturally doesn’t.
That can be significant. As a runner becomes more experienced, he or she will naturally face certain fitness plateaus, points where no matter how dilligent the training, strength and speed just don’t seem to be developing as they should. This can sometimes mean that although cardio and stamina are top-notch, sheer muscle strength hasn’t kept up.
Circuits can help by focusing on key muscle groups and helping to develop a strong core that will yield benefits ranging from improved posture to reduced risk of injury.
By doing exercises that work with the natural resistance of your body weight, you can build strength without adding a lot of bulky mass. After all, if you’re reading this blog you probably aren’t training to look like the guys on the covers of muscle magazines.
If circuit training sounds interesting and you are looking for some good all-around exercises to get you started, check out our Bootcamp Circuit Training App on the App Store.
Or if you’d rather take some of the exercises on a test drive, just read through the exercise descriptions (no pressure, no purchase necessary). We’ve got a variety to choose from, including explanations on how to do each one properly.
Circuit Training is the bomb! It’s great for strength and cardio at the same time. And contrary to popular opinion, light weights do not always have to be used. How does it rank next steady state cardio programs? I don’t know–maybe it’s just a thing of personal taste.