Benefits of Circuit Training: The Key to Personal Trainer Success

Benefits of Circuit Training - Popular Seasonal Sessions

If you’ve been around the fitness industry for any amount of time, you will have undoubtedly heard about the benefits of circuit training and how the practice is one of the most popular fitness trends to date. 

Circuit training is nothing new and despite a huge surge in popularity over the last decade, but to ensure you understand the benefits of circuit training we’ll break down the following topics:

But before we learn about the benefits of circuit training, why not begin on the path towards a rewarding career of helping others experience circuit training benefits by enrolling on our Personal Trainer Diploma. Download our course prospectus to see what else we offer!

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit Training Cycle

Circuit training is the practice of programming a workout around multiple different exercises, which are performed in a cycle with rests in between. With multiple exercises in one session, often completed at high intensity, your whole body gets a workout and your overall performance benefits as a result.

The great thing about circuit training is it being endlessly customisable. As the basic principle is to combine multiple exercises and include periods of rest, you can tailor a circuit training class to any audience.

Speaking of rest, find out the importance of rest days and why you need them by checking out our article here: The Importance of Rest Days & How Many You Need.

For example, if you want to build strength, design your circuit training session around compound and explosive exercises using weight. If you want to develop flexibility, design a session around dynamic stretching, including arm stretches and body-weight exercises.

As you might already be able to tell, the benefits of circuit training stretch far and wide.

Let’s take a look at the most popular forms of circuit training sessions: 

  • Cardio Blast Class - By moderating rest periods and increasing the intensity and time spent exercising, circuit training can be used to drastically improve cardio fitness.
  • Iron Man Circuits (Strength) - Using the precepts of circuit training, you can rapidly maximise muscle mass by focusing on high intensity strength training such as Olympic weight lifting and pull-ups. 
  • Flexibility Training - This circuit training focuses on dynamic movements, functional exercises, and body weight holds with an emphasis on accuracy & technique.
  • Low Impact, High Return - Circuit training can be used to ease people into exercise, providing a full body workout so can be used effectively for fast results.

Who is the Target Demographic for Circuit Training?

Circuit Training Benefits Target

There aren’t really many people who wouldn’t benefit from attending a circuit training session. This is because the benefits of circuit training are almost limitless.

Circuit training is endlessly flexible and continuously scalable. As it doesn’t focus on isolated exercises, it can be completed on a regular basis - as long as proper recovery is allowed to occur.

Anyone who has suffered plateaus in their fitness development using the gym or has grown tired of their standard group classes and one-to-one sessions with a trainer, could stand to benefit from circuit training. 

You should be using circuit training’s customisable nature, and the many varied benefits to identify key demographics in your gym and to target them accordingly.

What Does a Standard Circuit Training Session Look Like?

Types of Circuit Training Sessions

Now you’re familiar with the benefits of circuit training, it’s important to know what a session actually looks like. 

Check out our quick and easy circuit training session for beginners:

  1. Goblet Squat (Using Kettlebell) - 15 Reps, 20 Seconds Rest.
  2. Mountain Climbers (30 Seconds) - 30 Seconds Rest.
  3. Weighted Lunges (Using Kettlebell) - 10 Reps Each Leg, 20 Seconds Rest.
  4. Plank (30 Seconds).
  5. Push Ups - 15 Seconds, 30 Seconds Rest.
  6. Kettlebell Row - 10 reps Each Arm, 20 Seconds Rest.
  7. Sit Ups - 15 Reps.
  8. Star Jumps - 45 Seconds.


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The Benefits of Circuit Training Classes for Personal Trainers

As we mentioned earlier, because of the flexible and customisable aspects, circuit training benefits are varied and differ depending on the kind of circuit training class you choose to run or attend.

We’ve decided to split our article in terms of benefits of circuit training for personal training clients and benefits of circuit training for personal trainers.

Helping With Client Plateaus

2 Months Blues after Circuit Training

As a PT, there will come a point where your clients are no longer seeing improvements.

It’s tempting not to see this as a problem at first, especially if clients who are beginners have already reached their previously outlined fitness goals.

However, if you want to retain clients for more than a few months at a time, you should constantly re-evaluate their targets and to do that, you need to ensure they're seeing consistent improvements.

When one-to-one training stops working then, you might want to consider supplementing their sessions with some group classes and circuit training. Outside of the benefits of circuit training for clients, running classes takes pressure off you in terms of direct contact time (group classes mean you can squeeze multiple clients into a one hour slot).

Check out our example below of how a new training programme may look when you start running group classes for certain clients:

Circuit Training Timetable

For more information on the positives of exercising in a group, check out our article here: 9 Benefits of Group Exercise Classes & Case Study.

Improving From a Business Perspective

Benefits of Circuit Training for Personal Trainers

Let’s face it, personal training is a hard business to succeed in and if you approach things like circuit training purely from the perspective of looking at the benefits of circuit training for clients, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to maximise your business reach, and expand your target audience.

Some major benefits of circuit training for personal training entrepreneurs include:

  • Increased opportunity for group classes as there’s a further platform to advertise one-to-one services to clients.
  • Varied sessions according to available demographics.
  • Increased loyalty from existing clients through attendance of group classes.
  • Track record of successful branding in the industry.

- - - - 

Before we move onto our benefits of circuit training, why not check out other benefits of fitness below:

The Benefits of Circuit Training for Clients

Benefits of Circuit Training Thumbs Up

The business perspective is important if you want to last in this industry as a personal trainer.

Eventually you’re going to have to start explaining to your customers why they should attend your circuit training sessions. However, telling them it’s going to increase the size of your business probably won’t do the trick here!

If you’re prepared and can tell your clients all about the benefits of circuit training in terms of fitness, you’re in for a better shot at increasing your class sizes.

Because of how circuit training operates, you can tailor each session according to areas that your target audience are looking to improve.

In this section then, we’ll take a look at the benefits of circuit training for clients and how personal trainers have been using those benefits to market sessions to their clients.

Long-Term Strategy with Short-Term Reward

Circuit Training Workout Log

One of the first problems you’re likely to encounter as a personal trainer is balancing your clients motivation with creating a sustainable fitness programme.

If clients aren’t seeing fitness changes in the first three to four weeks of training, they’re likely to start losing faith in you and looking elsewhere.

One of the major benefits of circuit training is that it gives the body a full-workout. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of circuit training focuses on compound exercises.

Here’s a quick breakdown of compound exercises:

A compound exercise is any movement or task that works more than one muscle group at once. They are often favoured to isolated exercises as they mimic the body’s natural movement. Many exercises can also be referred to as functional.

Examples of popular compound exercises:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Dips
  • Pull Ups/Chin Ups
  • Lunges

As opposed to isolated exercises, compound exercises lay the foundation for real improvements to fitness. 

Clients should quickly start seeing changes to their fitness, especially if the circuit training sessions are high intensity and made up of several difficult compound exercises.

The Power of Seasonal Sessions

Circuit Training Calendar

Sometimes clients just want to get fit for specific events or periods in their life rather than treat fitness as a long term lifestyle change.

As mentioned in our last point, one of the major benefits of circuit training for clients is that it can bring about quick changes to fitness, while also providing a platform for long-term changes to lifestyle.

Seasonal sessions allow you to draw in new clients and take advantage of those who may only want to train for a specific period of time, e.g. in the build up to a competition. This can then lead to more long-term clients if they’re happy with their results from your circuit training sessions.

Warding off the Dreaded Two-Month Blues

2 Months Blues after Circuit Training

Think about it and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Whether you’re a personal trainer or a client, there comes a point, usually about two or three months in, where you lose motivation. 

Whether it’s through a lack of progress or you’ve grown tired of the same old routine, the two month blues usually hit, at which point you may be tempted to throw in the towel altogether.

Integrating some new group classes into your client’s routine, especially ones that don’t specifically focus on one area of the body and reduce recovery time, is a great way to keep them interested.

One of the major benefits of circuit training is the classes themselves should never get boring, as there’s so much flexibility with what you can do with them!

The Most Popular Circuit Training Spinoffs

Weightlifting and Circuit Training Benefits

If we’re boiling this article down to the simple question of why should I start circuit training then the answer is pretty simple.

Of all the benefits of circuit training, the most important one to keep in mind is that it works!

Whether you’re a personal trainer trying to diversify your business or a client who’s hit a dead end in your training, circuit training may be the key to unlocking your potential.

But don’t just take our word for it! All you have to do is look at some of the most popular fitness trends from around the globe over the best few years, and you’ll see a recurring trend.

Or to put it another way, what do CrossFit and 80% of HIIT-style workouts have in common?

They evolve their unique approach to fitness from a foundation of circuit training!


Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Begin an exciting career by enrolling on our Personal Trainer Diploma.

CrossFit: When Circuit Training Meets Team Sports

Benefits of Circuit Training & Crossfit

For those who are unsure of what CrossFit is, here’s everything you need to know!

  • Sessions consist of circuits made up of compound exercises - from weightlifting to body-weight movements.
  • Emphasis on functional fitness - NO GYM MACHINES!
  • WOD = Workout of the Day. Usually a circuit to be completed at whichever intensity or difficulty the individual can achieve.
  • Endlessly scalable - Can’t lift the suggested weight on the programme? Just drop it to get the reps done.
  • Places emphasis on community and team spirit.
  • Growing into a professional sport in its own right, with the annual CrossFit Games sponsored by Reebok and garnering large television audiences.

CrossFit essentially takes circuit training and forms a community around it. Each CrossFit Gym or box has a unique community, during workouts, you can expect a healthy team competitive spirit and plenty of shouts of support from your fellow athletes.

But that doesn’t mean it’s just for the super-fit!

The sport is designed to be scalable. The logic being everyone can benefit from CrossFit so you should be able to enter at your own level, whether you’re a professional athlete, or a 60 year old looking to get fit.

But, despite all this innovation, the precepts and the benefits of circuit training remain the same: exercises completed in a cycle, with breaks in the middle, giving the body a full, balanced workout.

The Ongoing Rise of HIIT

Circuit Training & HIIT

There’s no two ways to say it: HIIT is the most popular form of exercise on the planet right now.

But what exactly is it?

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) involves exercising in short bursts of 100%, followed by periods of rest.

Many HIIT styles classes rotate exercises, so individuals attending a class may complete one exercise focusing on the core muscles, followed by another focusing on the back and another focusing on legs.

The key is to keep your heart rate up and to maintain the intensity throughout the exercise periods of your workout.

Although we’re not saying all HIIT style workouts use a foundation of circuit training, it’s definitely true many of them do.

A HIIT class usually chooses either an area of the body to focus on, using different exercises with recovery periods in between, or more simply, focuses on giving a whole-body workout using roughly the same methods.

As a result, many of the major benefits of circuit training are also the benefits of HIIT – that is, improvements to functional fitness and full-body performance, and fast results achieved within a short time frame.

The Quick Guide to Becoming a Circuit Training Instructor Today!

Becoming a Circuit Trainer

Now you know all the benefits of circuit training, both from a business perspective and for improving client fitness. Now you might be wondering, how exactly do I become a circuit training instructor?

You may have been told, in order to be a successful circuit training instructor, you need to become a qualified CrossFit coach.

And it’s true, there is a huge market to be gained through using the CrossFit brand and setting up your own franchise. However, there are also downsides to setting up business with CrossFit – you have less flexibility in choosing your own path.

If you want to take full control of your future circuit training business venture and reap all the benefits of circuit training as an independent fitness professional, you might want to consider the following steps:

  1. Pass your Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification
  2. Pass your Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification
  3. Gain at least 6 months experience working on the gym floor
  4. Begin marketing and recruiting to your new Circuit Training class

Passing your qualifications gives you flexibility and control in terms of becoming a personal trainer and later diversifying in the industry.

Gaining experience is also essential, in terms of learning the ropes and recruiting loyal clients who will attend your classes and help expand your business through word of mouth.

After that, it’s simply a matter of reading up on some personal trainer marketing tips so your classes stand out in the busy market.

Find out more about gaining qualifications to teach circuit training by checking out our article here: What Qualifications Do I Need to Teach Circuit Training?

Before You Go!

That’s everything you need to know about the benefits of circuit training. Armed with this knowledge, you can improve your own practice or that of your personal training clients, ensuring they receive a beneficial workout.

If you’re passionate about circuit training and want to encourage others to get involved, enquire about our Personal Trainer Diploma today! In doing so, you can qualify in as little as 4 weeks and begin integrating these teachings into your business. 

Alternatively, download our FREE prospectus to learn more about OriGym’s qualifications. 

Written by Chloe Twist

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Chloe on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Chloe graduated with a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and prior to OriGym worked at J&R Digital Marketing Agency on the Liverpool 'Female Founders' series. Since joining the company, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist. Chloe’s professional interests intersect content-development and the world of online fitness, especially across social media and YouTube, and Chloe has herself contributed pieces on fitness and weight loss to sites including the Daily Star and The Express. Outside her day-to-day role, Chloe enjoys playing the guitar, gaming and kettlebell training. 

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