Circuit Training: Guest Post

I want to thank Jill for her post on circuit training for runner: Check out her blog  Fitness, Health and Happiness

As a runner I’m always looking for ways to train smart and improve performance. This year I’ve
come to realize that training smart and improving performance means consistent cross training.
As someone who would be perfectly happy to only run, what are my options? More importantly, what are my options that will benefit running? The answer to that is circuit training.

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is the effective combination of cardio vascular fitness and resistance training that
maximizes the volume of work done in a short period of time. After looking at a variety of circuit
workouts the routines typically:

1.      alternate between muscle groups allowing for adequate recovery
2.      include a rest interval of 30-90 seconds
3.      allow for 1-3 minutes between circuits
4.      combine cardio training and resistance training

What are the benefits of circuit training?

  • a total body workout
  • an easy way to combine cardio benefits and strength training in one workout
  • routines can be easily created for all fitness levels
  • can be done at home or at the gym and with or without equipment
  • shortened workout time

How will circuit training benefit running (and pretty much any other sport)? Circuit training is
specifically designed to give the entire body a workout, so it improves cardio fitness as well as
enhancing strength, stamina and mobility. Circuit training workouts can be designed to be low
impact making it a great option for cross training. Last, but not least, circuit training minimizes
the risk of common running injuries, such as Plantar Fascitis, ITB pain, runner’s knee, and shin

A circuit training workout would look like this (Spartacus Workout for Women http://
  1. Plie squat plus triceps french press
  2. Burpee plus pushup plus overhead press
  3. Alternating plank row (from knees or toes)
  4. Split lunge plus tricep kickback (same leg and arm behind; switch sides next round)
  5. Weighted squat jumps
  6. Side plank plus weighted core rotation (switch sides next round)
  7. Tricep dips
  8. Side lunge plus reach (switch sides next round)


1. 8 moves; 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest
2. No breaks until the end of the 8-minute circuit
3. Three of the exercises (#4, #6 and #8) are done on one side at a time. The first time
through the circuit, perform all reps on one side; next time through, switch sides (much
more tiring than alternating sides within a set).

4. Repeat for a total of 4 or 6 rounds.

Pinterest is a great resource for circuit workouts! Check out my Workout Board for complete
circuit routines.
I'm a wife of an ultrarunner, mom of 2, psychologist and fitness enthusiast. I’m passionate about
running, plant-based nutrition, strength training, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy
lifestyle is not about perfection. It's about commitment, effort and progress!

Have you ever tried circuit training?

Social Media
Blog: Fitness, Health and Happiness
Twitter: @jillconyers!/jillconyers
Facebook: Jill Fickling-Conyers
Facebook Page: Fitness, Health and Happiness
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  1. Thanks for the ideas - great ones to post and try!

  2. Great post! I do circuit training when it's part of a class or dvd, but rarely do it on my own. I agree that it's a fantastic workout!

  3. Thanks to Jill for sharing these great ideas :)


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