If you’re looking to switch up your workout in the gym or you’re just looking for a new way to burn some calories and link up with some friends, circuit training may be right for you. This type of training combines cardio and strength training for an efficient workout.
Most circuit training sessions last less than 30 minutes which is why many people are ditching their 1-2 hour sessions in the gym of traditional weightlifting.
When done right, you can see drastic results with circuit training in about half the amount of time you would normally spend exercising.
In fact, circuit training is so effective that, depending on your weight and exercise intensity, you’ll burn about 11.4 calories per minute, equaling 684 calories per hour.
Calories Burned Circuit Training Calculator
Calories Burned in Group Fitness Classes (Weight: 175lbs)
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This article will discuss everything you need to know about circuit training and how to do this type of exercise with maximum efficiency.
How the Calculator Works
Our calculator uses MET values to give you an accurate estimate of how many calories you can expect to burn while doing circuit training and other activities. The higher the MET value, the more calories you will burn.
What is MET?
Metabolic equivalent of task (or MET values) allow us to give you an estimated amount of energy that you expend for many different activities, like circuit training.
The MET value is the difference between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate , which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing activities such as circuit training workouts.
So a MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 7 means you are expending 7 times as much energy compared to being at rest.
Almost all activities that you can think of have MET values assigned to them. Some activities with MET values are common, and some are not so common. For example, there are MET values assigned to activities like playing hockey, martial arts, and even resting!
Most activities come with varying levels of intensity and have different MET values assigned to them, but circuit training has a single MET value of 7.2.
The formula that this calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (body weight in Kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200.
A person weighing 200 pounds will burn approximately 684 calories per hour from circuit training. This activity has a MET of 7.2, which means that it burns over seven times as many calories compared to being at rest.
This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned with circuit training will look like for a 200-pound individual at a MET value of 7.2.
- Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = ( 90.7 x 7.2 x 3.5 ) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = 11.4 calories x 60
- Calories burned (per hour) = 684 calories per hour
What is Circuit Training?
Circuit training involves participants rotating to different “stations” that contain a collection of different exercises. Each station may have one exercise to do or it may have several. The time spent at each station is small, typically only 1-2 minutes.
Each station tends to target different muscle groups which gives you a complete full-body workout in a fraction of the time that it would take with normal training. If you’re looking for a quick and effective workout, you should give this a try.
Circuits generally range from 8-10 different exercises that can vary based on the participants. For example, a high school football team may do circuit training as part of their weight lifting program focusing on speed and agility.
Older individuals may participate in a circuit training class that emphasizes cardiovascular fitness and getting the heart rate elevated. No matter what the goal is with circuit training, you can expect to burn plenty of calories.
Benefits of Circuit Training
Circuit training is so popular because of the myriad of benefits that it provides. Below are some of the top benefits that you’ll find if you do regular circuit training the right way:
Although circuit training is done in short bursts of energy at each station, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to do these exercises and other ones for long periods of time with the same or increased intensity.
Circuit training involves using your slow-twitch muscle fibers to help sustain the high number of reps for each exercise. Once you’ve developed the slow-twitch muscle fibers, circuit training will get easier and you won’t be as fatigued as you were when you started.
Instead of isolating your training each day into lower body and upper body splits, circuit training workouts target your entire body with the variety of different exercises that are involved.
When you move from one station to the next, you typically switch to targeting a different muscle group. For example, the first station you do might be crunches and the next one could be pull-ups. You’re first targeting your core with crunches and then your upper body with pull-ups.
Circuit training also gives you the most bang for your buck, meaning that it’s the most efficient way to get a full-body workout in a short amount of time.
Increases strength and promotes muscle growth
As long as you do circuit exercises that target your muscles effectively, you can expect to put on muscle and increase your overall strength.
In order to promote muscle growth, you must lift moderate to heavy weights for high reps. With circuit training, your muscles are under constant tension which stimulates muscle growth that helps to build stronger and larger muscles over time.
Perfect for all levels of fitness
Are you new to exercising and are looking for the best way to burn some calories while not putting so much stress on your body? Or maybe you’re an experienced lifter who is looking to mix up your daily routine.
No matter your level of fitness or your goals in the gym, circuit training is a great way to get an intense workout without spending hours in the gym. You can usually set up your own stations or participate in a class where an instructor leads the circuit training.
Circuit Training Exercises
Circuit training is so effective because you can do just about any exercise at each station as long as they meet the general criteria of a circuit training workout. You can customize circuit training workouts to ensure that they target a certain body part or that they work the entire body.
Below are some of the most common types of circuit training exercises:
Burpees are one of the most common exercises done while circuit training because they are a great way to elevate your heart rate and to break a sweat fast. Burpees are very easy to do and they are a staple in a lot of HIIT workouts as well.
Benefits of doing burpees as part of your circuit training include being able to put on muscle and increase your strength in other compound lifts like squats and deadlifts. You can also expect to lose weight doing burpees since they are a great way to burn calories.
For more information on how to do burpees correctly, click here.
With a diamond push-up, you still get in normal push-up position but you bring your hands close together so your index fingers and thumbs are touching each other, forming a diamond shape right in front of you.
You should do as many diamond push-ups as you can during your circuit training at this station. If the regular diamond push-up is too difficult, you should do a modified diamond push-up with your knees on the ground to ensure you’re still working your triceps and upper body.
Bicycle crunches are an effective way to get a good core workout and are a great option to incorporate into your circuit routine. This type of crunch is similar to a standard crunch but involves you bringing your elbows to almost touch your knees while you’re performing the exercise.
Click here for more information on how to do the bicycle crunch the right way.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a current or former athlete, you may have done circuit training as part of your strength and conditioning program with other members of your team or class. It may also not have been the best experience when someone else is forcing you to do it.
However, being able to customize your own circuit training workouts and doing the exercises that you want to do make circuit training a fun and challenging way to workout.
Use this calculator to get an idea of how many calories you can expect to burn while doing circuit training, and be sure to check out all the other calculators that we have to offer at Fitness Volt!
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809