Fitness & Training, Strength fitness

Fitness exercises: zoom in on the circuit training

Would you like to introduce some diversity in your training routine? Then circuit training is perfect for you! Similar to HIIT, this fun approach to physical activity allows you to progress in cardio and to make your whole body work thanks to runs of muscle strengthening exercises accessible to all. Alone or with others challenging you, push your limits and create your own circuits!

What is circuit training


HIIT allows you to train in a fun way with runs composed of small simple exercises, combining muscle strengthening, getting back to fitness and working on cardio.

The main principles of circuit training

Based on the principle of interval training, circuit training includes between 4 and 12 exercises, divided into a session called a cycle. The aim is to perform each exercise over a short period of time, around 30 seconds, then to recover for 10 to 30 seconds. Each cycle is repeated multiple times, with the number of cycles being predetermined before the session, for a total duration that can vary from a few minutes to an hour depending on the goals and the ability of the participants.

Endless possibilities of variations

Since its origins, circuit training has evolved into many variations and this type of training offers a multitude of possibilities. By modifying the number of cycles, the effort time, the recovery time and the type of exercise, each athlete can create an infinite number of tailored runs, enough to accommodate a large number of sessions without ever getting bored.

6 reasons to integrate circuit training into your sports routine


Since it involves the whole body, circuit training is a complete and fun activity that adapts to all of your goals. It is very popular with athletes of all levels:

  1. Its short format ranks it, in the same way as HIIT training, among the sports activities that can be integrated into the tightest schedules.
  2. It can be practised anywhere and without equipment, at home, on holiday, at work, alone or with others.
  3. Very entertaining, it brings together various runs as multiple challenges to be taken up in a very short time.
  4. It allows you to improve your performance and push your limits, mobilising the whole body at a high intensity.
  5. It is ideal for burning more calories during the run.

Create your personalised training circuit

Creating a training circuit is very easy: it only takes alternating sprints, skipping rope, body weight movements or even fitness exercise classics to create a personalised run. Ideally, choose different movements with the aim of making all muscle groups work. You can focus your programmes on a specific goal by targetting exercises for weight loss, muscle strengthening or cardio, or even opt for getting back to general fitness.

A circuit training for beginners

With a rhythm of 30 seconds of effort for 30 seconds of recovery and a cycle of 10 exercises to perform once, this circuit training example will give you a way to test this kind of exercise in good conditions.

Begin by warming up, ensuring all joints are used: make circles with your shoulders, wrists and ankles, do a few torso rotations and leg bends, then jog on the spot or move forward with small strides, depending on your options.

This session of 10 minutes can be done twice a week. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 seconds, before moving on to the next movement:

  1. Squats
  2. Sprint
  3. Knee lifts
  4. Plank
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Burpees
  7. Jumping Jacks
  8. Skipping rope
  9. Dips
  10. Running back and forth

Finish off with a few slower strides, then stretches, and remember to stay hydrated. To learn more about how each exercise is performed and which muscle groups are involved, check out our article on muscle strengthening.

Your intermediate level circuit training

Once the previous circuit training run is mastered, you are ready to step up to the next level. After a few sessions, don’t hesitate to increase the number of 10-minute runs: 2, 3, then 5… You can also play on the rhythm of the effort, switching to an alternation of 20 seconds of activity and 20 seconds of recovery. The next step will be to go from 2 to 3 or 4 sessions per week.

If interval training appeals to you and you want to experience even more intense sensations, why not try the Tabata method? Find out more by reading our article dedicated to the most demanding method of HIIT training, offering stunning results!

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.