Planning a Circuit Training Workout for Beginners

Planning a Circuit Training Workout for Beginners

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Jump rope is a common activity incorporated into circuit workouts.

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Those who are just starting to work out for the first time or after a long break will be able to safely burn calories and also build strength, endurance, cardiovascular health by participating in circuit training. Circuit workouts involve doing a variety of activities, each for a short amount of time. You bounce from one activity into the next, which allows you to keep your heart rate up while you make your way through the circuit. Workouts can be intense, so there are some things to keep in mind when planning a workout for beginners

Proper Warmup and Cool-Down

Because those exercising will not be in shape, it's of utmost importance that you take them through a proper dynamic warmup beforehand and a thorough cool-down afterward. Before each workout, lead them through a 10-minute warmup that includes activities like jogging and jumping jacks. The dynamic warmup will safely elevate their breathing and heart rates and help wake up and prepare their muscles for the workout. A five- to 10-minute cool-down, which includes walking and a bout of static stretching, will help safely return their heart and breathing rates back to resting levels and improve their recovery time.

Circuit Exercises

Beginners will most likely need some time to get comfortable with each of the exercises you assign. Therefore, limit the number of exercises you include in each workout to eight to 10 and begin with more basic body-weight exercises. For example, begin with exercises like pushups, body-weight squats, crunches, jumping jacks, skips and other exercises that most people are familiar with. After a few weeks and once your beginners are comfortable with the exercises, you can add some variety and complexity to the circuit. In addition, before each circuit, take a few minutes to demonstrate each of the exercises included in that day's workout so that they can be reminded of proper technique.

Workout Duration and Intervals

Because beginners won't have the endurance for durations, begin with a circuit workout of 15 to 20 minutes. Each of the stations will be of high intensity, which means those going through the workout will be physically drained at the end of each station. Keep stations to about 30-seconds in duration. Those who have been working out consistently and are in shape will often move from one circuit activity immediately into the next one without any rest. However, beginners will likely need a little bit of recovery time before they move into the next activity. Allow them 30 to 60 seconds in between each station to catch their breath and gather themselves.

Circuit Layout

To help beginners recover between circuits, organize the workout so that you move from a lower body exercise to an upper body exercise, and then do a cardio-based exercise. Avoid having beginners do two leg exercises back-to-back. In addition, those going through the circuit workout will often be distracted and not as alert due to fatigue, so lay out the circuit in a pattern that's easy to follow. For example, if you're going to have them do a station of jumping jacks and then move onto pushups, you want these two stations to be set up next to each other.

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