To get started:
- Ensure participants have the required equipment to complete the circuit.
- The amount of stations set up largely depends on the amount of participants, but 9-12 tends to be a good amount to start with. Set up and explain fully and/or demonstrate each exercise for the different stations. It's also helpful to have cards at each station that state what each exercise is to avoid having to pause the workout.
- Exercises in a circuit should be designed in an order that allows opposing muscle groups to alternate between resting and working. This idea also applies when coming up with activities that vary in intensity levels, for example - one station may be jumping jacks, the next crunches, then running in the spot, etc.
- Have participants perform a dynamic warm-up to prepare the body for the workout ahead. For example: squats, jumping jacks or running on the spot.
- Participants will then perform a designated move at one station for a predetermined time and when instructed, will move to the next station. How long each participant is at a station and how long the workout is to be is up to the instructor. Make sure to give enough time for the participants to change stations and familiarize themselves with the next exercise.
- Training should be followed with an adequate cool down and plenty of water.
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Berg M. Circuit training for everyman. Smart training: these three circuits, each addressing a specific goal, will get the job done when you're short on time. Men's Fitness. October 2002;18(10):138;140-141.
2. Frith J, Kerr J, Wilson G. Immediate improvements in emotion and stress following participation in Aerobics, Circuit Training and Tai Chi. International Journal Of Sport Psychology. September 2011;42(5):480-492.
3. Henry R, Anshel M, Michael T. Effects of Aerobic and Circuit Training on Fitness and Body Image Among Women. Journal Of Sport Behavior. December 2006;29(4):281-303.
4. Klika B, Jordan C. HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. May 2013;17(3):8-13.
5. Liu D. The Effect of Circuit Weight Training on Muscle Strength, Aerobic Capacity and HRV. Journal Of Beijing Sport University. April 2010;33(4):52-55.
6. Sanders M. Circuit play in the pool. Journal On Active Aging. May 2009;8(3):84-91.
7. Sandler D. JOIN THE CIRCUIT. Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness. February 2010;71(2):209.
8. Shepherd J. Circuit training. Athletics Weekly (Descartes Publishing Ltd.). October 22, 2009;:36-37.