Circuit Training and Fat Loss PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Karel Nunnink   


Circuit weight training takes less time compared to traditional weight training, but can it increase strength and muscle similar to a traditional routine?

circuit weight training can increase strength and muscle

What is circuit training?

Circuit Training: This type of training involves lifting lighter loads with very short rest periods of time. The lifter moves from one  exercise to the next  in 15 -30 sec (or no rest)  and completes a series of circuits. The weight is usually around 40-60% of 1Rm which equates to 10-20 reps.

What are the advantages of circuit training?

Cardiovascular: There is a moderate  Increase in cardiovascular capacity compared to traditional strength training.

Time: Less time is required since there is little or no rest in between sets.

Fat Loss: There maybe greater fat loss with circuit training compared to traditional training.

What are the drawbacks?

Strength & Muscle: Since the weights used are pretty light, the strength and muscle gains are minimal compared to traditional training.

Bone Mass: This is also true for bone mass since there is less loading.

What was the purpose of the study?

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to study the effect  circuit training with heavier loads ( 6 reps)  on body fat, strength, muscle, cardiovascular response compared to a traditional routine.

What was the training protocol?

Duration: 8 weeks
Participants: The subjects were trained  men.
Rest between sets: The traditional group did the same number of exercises separated by 3 min rest while the circuit training group rest time was 35 sec.

circuit weight training study

What were the results?

  • Surprisingly, with just 35 sec  rest, circuit training group had similar power, strength  increase compared to the traditional training group.
  • There was an a decrease in body fat and an increase in body fat in both groups. The decrease in body fat was only significant in the circuit training group though.
  • Both groups improved in aerobic and anaerobic tests.
  • This type of training can increase aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, result in greater fat loss, but not muscle growth, so use it as an adjunct to your training schedule, more intensity less time, less joint wear.
  • Live long and strong.
  • Karel. Source Exercise Biology.


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