Circuit Training for Women

Cardio and Strength Training Combined

Circuit training for women is one of the leading ways to effectively reach fitness and weight loss goals. This type of workout combines cardio and strength training to sculpt the body while burning 20-30 percent more calories than many exercise plans.

Let's face it, women's bodies are different from men's bodies. You don't usually hear men complaining about jiggly triceps, flabby thighs, or cellulite. So it's not surprising that we look for workouts that will target trouble areas and help slow down the effects of aging. 

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training has you moving quickly from one exercise station to the next with little or no rest in between. 

The quick hop from station to station generates a cardio element to the workout that usually doesn't happen with strength training. 

That is one reason why circuit training workouts are highly efficient for burning fat and replacing it with lean muscle. Circuit training for women is an ideal way to pack a workout into a short period of time and get amazing results.

Building a Workout

The specific exercises included in your workout will depend on your goals, preferences, and fitness level. We have included a list of popular exercises for you to start with. As you become more proficient with the workouts you can keep changing the list and increase your exercise options which can prevent boredom and keep things interesting.

  • Exercise Length. You can set a number of repetitions for each exercise. If you are trying to lose weight and acquire slimming tone, aim for 10-15 reps. If you want to add muscle mass, aim for 6-8 reps.

  • Number of Exercises. Most circuit training workouts go anywhere from 4-10 exercises. If you don't mind repeating a circuit 5-6 times than a 4 exercise is fine; however, most people choose to do more exercises and repeat the sets 2-3 times.

  • Exercise Equipment. One of the most important parts of circuit training is to keep things moving fast. You don't want to take the time to change weights on machines or exercise bars. Try and have any equipment you need readily available. 

circuit training for women using weights

Circuit Training for Women

A typical circuit can consist of 4-8 exercises completed consecutively, usually including a combination of aerobic and strength movements. Each exercise is performed for a certain amount of reps or a particular amount of time. When one round is complete, the series is repeated.

For example, a circuit may include 10 side lunges with weights, 10 kettlebell swings, 10 squats, 1 minute of jump rope, 10 dumbbell rows, 1 min wall squats, 10 lat raises, 10 dumbbell tricep kickbacks.

Or,  2 minutes of high intensity on the exercise cycle or treadmill, 10 machine seated rows, 10 machine overhead press, 2 minutes of high intensity on the exercise cycle or treadmill, 10 lat pull downs, 1 min traditional plank, 2 minutes of high intensity on the exercise cycle or treadmill, 10 hammer curls with dumbbells, 10 deadlifts with dumbbells, 2 minutes of high intensity on the exercise cycle or treadmill.

The number of reps/time and heaviness of weights can vary depending on the type of exercise being performed and your personal fitness level. The circuits can be completed as many times as desired.

Circuit Training for Women Benefits

  • Time Factor. Since you will be working your entire body every session, you will only need to work out 20-30 minutes per session and only 2-3 times per week. That means fewer trips to the gym. You will also have more time now to add in some extra cardio or other fitness activities.
  • Recovery Time. Fewer workouts per week will allow your body plenty of time to fully recover. This means that you can train even harder because your body will have sufficient time to prepare for your next workout.
  • Calorie and Fat Burn. Programs that target specific muscles individually often have rest periods between each set (like a set of curls). With a circuit training workout, you are moving from one muscle group to another, so you don't the rest time between each exercise. This way, you are burning the same amount of calories in less time.
  • Less Risk Of Overtraining. Since you won't be doing as many exercises and you will be giving your body more rest. The risk of overtraining your muscles is much lower. 
  • Heart Health. One of the key benefits of doing physical activity routines like circuit training is that it decreases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and can help with weight control. Exercise done on a regular basis has been linked with fewer doctor visits.

Cardio Workout Plan

Circuit Training Tips

  • Keep Moving. To maximize your circuit workout try and take as little rest as possible between exercises. You want to maintain an elevated heart rate through the entire workout.

  • Muscle Confusion. Change things in your workout to keep your muscles guessing and working hard. You can alternate exercises, increase or decrease the weight and the number of reps you do. This can help you avoid plateaus.

  • Keep Progressing. To see continued results, you have to keep challenging your body. It is important to slowly increase the difficulty of your routine by adding reps, adding weight, adding circuits, or adding different versions of the same exercises such as one-handed push-ups, or one-legged squats.

  • Selecting Exercises. By choosing the right exercises, you will see exciting positive results quickly. The key is to use exercises that work multiple muscles at the same time. These compound exercises can build slimming muscle and improve your conditioning shockingly fast.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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