April 6

My Top 10 Circuit Training Formats


If you love experimenting with different circuit training formats, then I've got some fun circuit training ideas to share with you. 

Have a go at creating a circuit training workout around each format. This will give you ten fun circuits that will add more variety to your group fitness classes. 

1. PHA Circuit: PHA is an effective circuit training format that combines cardio and resistance training with minimal rest in between exercises. The circuit alternates between upper and lower body exercises, causing the heart and lungs to work harder quickly circulating blood throughout the body.

2. Reduction Circuit: Set up an eight station circuit. Each station is completed for 80 seconds rotating stations clockwise. Then 70 seconds, then 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 straight through with no rest. It's a killer. 

3. Target Circuit: This is one of my favourite circuit training formats because it gives players something to aim for. This works the same as a traditional circuit (eight stations, 1-minute per station 3x through).

However, you're going to write a target number of reps on each station for players to aim for. If you train a mixed ability group, you can write three targets on each station to reflect ability. 

For example, if station one is squats, you might right 20, 30, 40 (beginner, intermediate, advanced). 

4. Ladder Circuit: My group love this circuit training format, and we have tried (with great success) a number of different variation. This is is based around a 6-12 station circular circuit.

  • Variation 1: Start by completing each station 10 seconds, then add an extra 5 seconds to each round until you reach 60 seconds. 
  • Variation 2: Start by completing each station 60 seconds, then subtract 5 seconds from each round until you reach 10 seconds. 

5. Pyramid Circuit: Perform a series of exercises in a pyramid format, starting with a high number of reps and decreasing the reps with each round.

6. Tabata Circuit: Complete each station for a 4-minute Tabata rotating stations clockwise. You can either have a rest between exercises, or complete the circuit straight through by using an interval timer. 

7. Fragmented Tabata Circuit: Complete each station for 20/10 8x through. When the circuit is over, you will have completed each exericse for 8 rounds of 20/10, which is a 4-minute Tabata,  

8. EMOM Circuit: Complete a specific number of reps on each station every minute on the minute (EMOM) for a set amount of time before rotating to the next station. 

9. Partner Circuit: Work with a partner to complete a series of exercises. One partner performs the exercise while the other partner rests, then switch.

10. Cardio Circuit: Incorporate cardio exercises such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and high knees into a circuit to increase heart rate and burn calories.

So there you have it, ten circuit training formats that you can use to create a bunch of fun circuit training workouts. 

What More Circuit Training Formats?

circuit training formats

If you love incorporating circuits into your group fitness programme, then I've got something really cool to share with you.

It's called Super Circuits, a unique collection of fun and innovative circuits that group trainers are using to add more variety (and a lot more fun) to their classes. 

Thanks for reading 

Leon Melnicenko

CEO: Workout Design Club



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