Balance Your Workouts with Circuit Training

December 7, 2012 | Z Altug

Must See Conditioning Videos

Create a more balanced workout with circuit training. It's a more functional method, because it involves moving from one activity to the next with varying amounts of rest, depending on your goals and level of conditioning. Athletes can use circuit training to emphasize aerobic, strength, flexibility or balance in their conditioning programs. (Read more on the STACK Circuit Training page.)

Circuit training has many advantages for athletes. When you're in a time crunch, combining aerobic and strength training provides a total-body workout in a shorter period of time. Since you use different equipment, movements, intensities and exercises, your body is constantly challenged. This helps prevent overuse injuries and avoids mental burnout.

However, circuit training is not for everyone, especially those who lack access to a variety of equipment. And if you want to emphasize either the strength or the aerobic component for a sport or event, you might be better off training each component separately. Also, if you're coming off an injury, a circuit program could prove too challenging, so make sure you work at a slower pace and incorporate sufficient amounts of rest.

Want to get started? The following is a basic format guideline for a circuit training program. Both beginner and advanced athletes can use it by tailoring the exercises to meet their individual needs and by varying the intensity. Sets and reps depend on your specific fitness level. Be creative when designing your own circuit. Try heading out to a local gym, track or stadium. Use a variety of exercises, and change them weekly to challenge different muscles and prevent exercise burnout.

Basic Circuit Training Exercise Workout

  • Warm up with mobility or calisthenic exercises for five to 10 minutes, followed by
  • Walk, jog or run in place or on a treadmill for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do a set of Squats
  • Ride a stationary bike at an intense pace for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do  set of Push-Ups
  • Walk, jog or run in place or on a treadmill for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do a set of Bridging
  • Ride a stationary bike at an intense pace for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do a set of Dumbbell Rows
  • Walk, jog or run in place or on a treadmill for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do a set of Heel Raises
  • Ride a stationary bike at an intense pace for one to five minutes
  • Stop and do a set of Side Planks
  • End by cooling down with a slow walk, bike or treadmill for five minutes, then stretch upper and lower body
Z Altug
- Z Altug, PT, MS, CSCS, NSCA-PT, is a licensed physical therapist and athletic performance specialist out of Los Angeles. He co-authored the 2012 Healthy Lifestyle...
Z Altug
- Z Altug, PT, MS, CSCS, NSCA-PT, is a licensed physical therapist and athletic performance specialist out of Los Angeles. He co-authored the 2012 Healthy Lifestyle...
Must See
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 9,404,307
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 6,764,062
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 6,014,967

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,339
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,008
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 326,774
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,643
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,963
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,501,997
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

If you haven't heard of altitude training, where have you been? Increased endurance and extended overall time-till-fatigue are hallmarks of effective...

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

Prepare for Your Season With These Conditioning Drills

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

Can You Survive the

In Defense of Cardio

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

Who Invented the Burpee?

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge