I have a question regarding circuit training. I have been reading on circuit training, and it seems optimal for my routine as I don't have much time to spare at the moment but would like to fit in say 30 minutes of resistance training when I can manage. Given they can target the full body, I think they would be ideal.

Would one use the same weight-total for all stations, or do you change them? For example, if I start with a 5kg dumbell, do I continue with it, or would I change it based on exercise? Given that most circuits expect you to jump from one station to another in seconds, changing weights would prove quite time consuming I guess, thats why I'm asking.

Also any opinions on circuit-training in general would be appreciated, as well as any sample workout templates for beginners like me :)

  • Do you really need to use weight? Perhaps a body weight program would be better given your time constraints.
    – FredrikD
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:43
  • @FredrikD I don't think you can cover all body with body-weight? For example, how could you use body weight to replace say a dumbell bicep curl? Commented May 10, 2013 at 0:11
  • good point! However, given that you have limited time, you could go for a "whole body" approach, e.g. with kettlebell type exercises (see fitness.stackexchange.com/q/2001/3778) that work the posterior chain. Working on relatively small muscles such as the biceps is in a limited time context less efficient.
    – FredrikD
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


It's not mandatory to use the same weight for every exercise in the circuit, especially since some exercises may not require weight at all, and some may require more weight than can be performed with other exercises. The main thing to keep in mind with circuits is to keep moving. Try to pick weight that will allow you to complete your circuit the first time around, and then try to increase the resistance or circuit repetitions, depending on your goal.

  • I think the best option would be to have say 2 or 3 sets of dumbells each prepared with the weights one intends to use, and then according to the exercise choose whether to do it with free weight, or one of the different combinations. This way, one would'nt pause as much just to change weights. In general, do you have any opinion on circuit-training? Is it effective as much as some internet articles say it is? Commented May 10, 2013 at 0:10
  • 1
    circuit is awesome! For endurance training and fat loss, only thing higher I'd for fat loss I'd say is some HIIT like sprints, but circuit really is up toward the top. Absolutely keep the weight ready if at all possible so you can jump from one exercise to the next, that's where circuit really shines.
    – MDMoore313
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:45
  • @KarlCassar yes
    – MDMoore313
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 2:23

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