Circuit Training vs. Interval Circuits - what's different?

Circuit training and interval circuits are sometimes mistaken as the same workout, but they are quite different. Although both work up a sweat, the execution and benefits of each of them aren’t the same. INTERVAL CIRCUITS An interval circuit is when exercises are set up as stations, placed back-to-back so that you rotate through them in numerical order. You could set up a cardio circuit, a weight circuit, or a combination of both. For example doing push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges, press-ups, kick-backs, and then back to the beginning again. In a cardio circuit, you may do jumping jacks for a minute, then run sprints for a minute, then jump rope, then do a minute jog on a treadmill and then start the circuit again.You do one set, and then you go through the circuit again.   Another example could be doing dumbbell rows, medicine ball squats, rowing, shoulder press, crunches, jumping jacks. To be classified as interval training, there needs to be some interval of time on each exercise. Tabata is a great example of interval training because there are specific exercises done in a circuit for a specific set of time. Another great example is Equinox's Shockwave and CrossFit.

AUTHENTIC CIRCUIT TRAINING   Authentic circuit training is going back and forth between a resistance and a cardio station in less than 3 minutes at each - that is the key difference. The cardio could include anything like the bike, treadmill, jump rope, even walking. And the resistance stations can work on one muscle group or on multiple muscle groups in a compound movement. If you are moving back and forth between a cardio exercise and a resistance exercise back-to-back, spending no more than 3 minutes at each station, you are circuit training!   The fundamental difference in the effect of each workout on the body is the energy system used to metabolize the calories as energy. When your body does cardio, it uses the aerobic system to burn calories as energy. When you're doing resistance training (anything with weights), it uses the anaerobic system. After the first 3 minutes of your body doing one or the other, it starts to get "lazy" and is able to do the exercise while burning fewer calories. If you switch it from aerobic to anaerobic in less than 3 minutes, your body is constantly guessing and has to burn more calories in order to continue to perform. In the case of authentic circuit training, your body is able to do the same exercises that you may do in interval training, yet burn exponentially more calories due to the back-and-forth between aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Circuit Works is an authentic circuit training studio, we offer circuits that offer calorie-burning results!