What is Aerobic Circuit Training?

Aerobic exercises increase the body’s heart rate and hence improve overall fitness and flexibility. Circuit training can be either used to increase cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength or both. Aerobic circuit training primarily focuses on improving an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness while any gains in muscle strength are a bonus. Circuit training involves performing a range of exercises in short, intense bursts with limited breaks in between. Some exercises which may be used in aerobic circuit training include jogging, using an exercise bike and rowing.

Aerobic exercise is defined as a physical exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness. Performing aerobic exercises will usually have a positive effect on flexibility as well. Circuit training is an effective way of increasing cardiovascular fitness because it involves a number of different exercises which focus on different parts of the body. This allows for the athlete to work at peak intensity for a longer period of time.

Types of exercises used in an aerobic circuit training routine can include jumping jacks, jogging, free weight lifting, treadmill exercises and leg extensions.

The interval length of each exercise and the rest in between varies depending on the fitness of the athlete and which exercises are being performed. Generally, exercises are carried out for around one to three minutes. For beginners a rest period of up to a minute is sometimes used although a workout will be more effective with a shorter rest.

The exact routine for a particular athlete varies depending on the overall goals. Sport specific circuit training routines focus on exercises that will improve an athlete’s performance in a specific sport. Squash aerobic circuit training, for example, would include exercises such as short sprints and shuttle runs in order to increase the athlete’s ability to perform using quick and short bursts of energy for a long period of time. Soccer training, on the other hand, would include endurance as well as explosive exercises.

Regular circuit training usually involves a broader range of exercises than sport specific routines. The goal of circuit training can be to perform as many repetitions of an exercise in a certain amount of time. For beginners, however, the goal is often just to exercise for the allotted period.

Exercises such as squats and bench presses can also increase the athlete’s heart rate while at the same time work some of the major muscle groups in the body. Although these types of exercises generally aren’t used in pure aerobic circuit training routines they can still be a useful addition. Strength training exercises must be carefully used during aerobic circuit training to avoid overstraining a muscle.


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