Circuit Training – What’s the Best Approach?

by in Fitness Training

circuit training

As circuit training begins growing in popularity, more and more people are hopping over onto these fat burning workouts to get them the results they are looking for. Before you go jumping on your own circuit training approach however, it’s vital that you consider how you should go about designing it for best results.

Recently, researchers published a study that compared circuit training protocols that either used traditional weight lifting exercises alone, or those that had subjects performing both weight lifting exercises in combination with cardio training. Which group came up on top?

Let’s have a look.


The researchers divided up a group of 25 individuals who were in an average state of training into two different groups.

One group performed 60 selected sets of resistance exercise training while the other group performed just 30 sets of resistance training but alternated this with 30 seconds of treadmill running. The interval between the sets of exercise for both groups lasted 15 seconds long.


After the results of the study were taken it was found that when they compared the two different types of programs, those that were performing the weight training in combination with treadmill running had higher values for relative and absolute VO2 as well as showed a greater level of energy expenditure.

This was the occurrence for both genders so regardless of whether it was a male or female test subject, this is what was found. It should be noted however that males did show the superior response to the combined training protocol while females showed greater values for VO2 max for both the weight training only and the weight training plus treadmill running set-ups.

Take Home Message

So from this study you can assume that if your main goal is to maximize fat burning with your circuit training workouts, you’re going to be better off combining both resistance training exercises as well as aerobic training bouts to work both the strength and cardiovascular systems at the same time. This is especially the case if you’re a male looking for fat loss as this gender seems to respond extremely superior to this type of circuit training set-up.

Alveno, DA. Et al. (2008). Acute physiological responses to different circuit training protocols. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Dec;48(4):438-43.

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