Nautilus Circuit Training

Man exercising in gym

A leading manufacturer of fitness equipment, Nautilus has become a fixture in most gyms, with the term Nautilus often used to indicate any form of exercise machine. Since Nautilus equipment tends to target one specific muscle group or body region, it provides the ideal means for circuit training, in which a series of different exercises are performed in quick succession. Individuals simply progress from one Nautilus station to the next, gaining a full-body workout with several advantages over free weights.


Nautilus circuit training can be performed in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. A typical circuit will feature between 9 and 12 Nautilus machines. You simply use each machine in a predetermined order, resting only 30 to 45 seconds between stations. The routine’s sequence should target different muscles at each subsequent station. For instance, you don’t want to work the arms at two consecutive machines. And Nautilus machines require no set-up time. The machines are ready when you are, making for a quick, efficient workout.


Nautilus machines provide a substantial safety advantage over free weights. There’s never any risk of dropping a weight on your body. All the resistance is contained within the machine. Working out on Nautilus machines will build stronger muscles, bones and joints, resulting in fewer injuries outside the gym as well.


Nautilus circuit training increases muscle strength and mass, enhances joint flexibility, improves cardiovascular endurance and helps you lose weight. According to Paul Wilson, the owner of Bodyfit gyms, adults who work out on Nautilus machines improve their strength as much as 50 to 60 percent in as little as eight weeks. Over the same period, adults typically lose 8.5 lbs. of fat while gaining 3 lbs. of lean muscle.


When completing a Nautilus circuit, position your body in an erect posture with your back straight. Avoid twisting and shifting your body weight during the exercises. And maintain a loose, comfortable grip on all machine handles. Gripping the machines too tightly will result in increased blood pressure. Also, remember to breathe slowly and steadily throughout all exercises. Perform each movement in the same controlled manner.

Sample Circuit

Nautilus circuit training routines should alternate work stations between upper and lower body. While countless variations exist, a sample Nautilus circuit could start with working on an abdominal machine, followed by lateral raises, leg extensions, double chest presses, hip abductors, and then biceps and triceps workouts.