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Circuit Training

A comparatively new fitness area, circuit training appeared in the mid 1950's, with new varieties, such as Boxercise and Body Pump, coming on the scene since. Circuit Training (or Circuits) is a great way to build your cardio fitness.



  1. Thorough warm up, and stretch, possible teach and demonstrate exercises
  2. All exercises to be controlled by the class instructor
  3. Ensure that the amount of time taken doing each exercise can be handled by the weakest member, ask and keep an eye on all new participants
  4. If necessary have a slight pause between each exercise, and if doing two or more sets, have a brief water break between each circuit set
  5. Good clear exercises suitable for beginners, i.e. box press-ups rather than full press-ups
  6. Thorough cool down and stretch, taking the pulse down gradually


Advanced circuits will work in the same format as a beginner's circuit, however the following should be noted.

  1. Harder exercises should also if possible have an easier version, for those persons that are not too fit
  2. Aim to spend at least 40 minutes of an hour long class working out
  3. Rest periods between exercise's or sets should be either minimal or zero
  4. Motivate, encourage the class more, whilst keeping an eye on their technique and heart rates



Persons are paired off with a partner of similar capabilities and motivation. The apparatus to be worked on is also duplicated.  Each person competes simultaneously against the other in the number of repetitions attained in the preset time. Most common lay out.


Apparatus laid in triplicate - hard/moderate/easy. Participants follow circuit round selecting own intensity of work. Suitable if class is of a varied fitness level.

Split Circuit

Person moves along line of apparatus performing predetermined repetitions on each selected apparatus in personal preferential order no rest allowed. For example 15 reps on each exercise, then move on to the next exercise. Second time around reps may change.

Triangles - Squares

Two or three triangles and/or squares of exercises within one circuit. Triangles or squares can be made up of exercises for one muscle group or as for the normal order in circuit training. E.g. 3 or 4 different abdominal exercises, then 3 or 4 shoulder exercises. Tough circuit.

Chalking Circuit

Person chalk upon maximum repetitions completed.  Minimum and maximum are recorded by the exercise - the following persons try to beat the maximum. Good for team format, make sure that all exercises are performed correctly and safely.

Roaring Circuit

This is when a predetermined number of exercises are set with a minimum number of repetitions allowed to be completed at one time i.e.. 150 sit ups (predetermined number) must be completed in repetitions of 30 minimum. This is then worked through the whole range of exercises, personal selection of which exercise follows and there is no rest.

Repeat Circuit

This is when some type of exercise is completed between each exercise. A simple example is to perform 10 press-ups between each exercise. This method will exercise your given target area well, however make sure you don't place the exercise used within the circuit. It is also wise to change the exercise as soon as people are finding it too difficult to perform correctly.


Circuit training persons start off at intervals and try to overtake the person in front - techniques must be correct. Always have a minimum of two sets of equipment laid out. An excellent addition to this, is to get the group to run completely around the circuit stations, then on to the next exercise. Make sure that if you do this method, your group are fit, and there is sufficient space to run around.

Team Circuit

One team performs, the others rest - time or reps tried to be bettered, or set teams in lines all work together. Move on to next exercises when the whole team has finished.  (Teams must be of similar ability). Good for motivating and bonding teams.

Our final page has a printable sheet for you to follow your workouts and training :

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