Super Circuit Weight Training
Circuit training is a weight training system where you do exercises quickly one after another for aerobic benefits as well as strength gains. Super circuit training combines the weight lifting exercises of circuit training with interval cardio training. From this combination you get high repetitions of strength training exercises mixed with short aerobics.
The format for super circuit training is to do a high number of repetitions per exercise, and then, between exercises, you do an aerobic activity. A repetition range of 15 to 20 works for super circuit training. Regular circuit training will have back-to-back strength training exercises throughout an entire circuit, or sometimes a short rest between exercises. The inclusion of some aerobic exercise between each strength exercise is unique to super circuit training, though sometimes this is simply called circuit training as an umbrella term. Usually, you'll do one to three complete circuits, though four is not unheard of. Ask your doctor for guidelines.
Super circuit training over traditional weight training offers several benefits. Saving time is a top reason. Because you get an aerobic workout and a strength workout, you won't need to do both. Build muscle, increase endurance and burn calories all at once. A super circuit workout may take only 20 to 30 minutes or possibly less, if you do fewer circuits. A cardio session alone takes that amount of time, at least. Super circuit training is easily tailored for full-body workouts by doing one exercise per body part, or can be modified for just an upper or lower body workout, or even all for one muscle group.
Any circuit can be adapted for super circuit training. Take a circuit such as push-ups, squats, sit-ups, lunges and chin-ups that hits all your major muscle groups. Instead of resting for 30 seconds between the exercises, do some aerobics. You can do knee-ups, marching or use a cardio machine. Complete 15 to 20 reps of each exercise.
Timed Super Circuit Workout
If you prefer setting a timer instead of counting reps, super circuit training for a timed workout might work better for you. Instead of counting reps for strength exercises and then watching the clock during aerobic exercise, use a set time for each exercise. Do 30 seconds of a strength exercise followed by 30 seconds of high-intensity aerobics. Examples include jogging in place, jumping jacks or bouncing on a rebounder.
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.