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Who benefits from circuit training?
Circuit training is especially helpful for beginner runners or injury-prone athletes who aren’t yet ready to handle an increase in mileage, but do have the time to do more aerobic exercise. For example, if you find yourself getting injured every time you try to run more than 4 miles at once, instead of spending hours on cross-training equipment, you can use circuit training to develop running-specific strength while still getting in an aerobic workout. Not only will this make you a better runner, but it will also begin to address some of the structural imbalances causing your injury in the first place.
Circuit training can also be effective if you have a busy schedule or travel frequently and you don’t have hours to spend at the gym, yet you want to do both strength work and cardio. A sample circuit routine, such as the one found at the end of this article, lasts about 30 minutes and can easily be lengthened or shortened by changing the running distance between each set.
Finally, circuit training is effective for runners who are looking to lose weight or increase their percentage of lean muscle mass. While running burns more calories than almost any other pure aerobic activity, strength training, and specifically circuit training, has been found to burn more fat per minute than any other type of exercise. A running-specific circuit training routine gives you the best of both worlds – the aerobic development and calorie burn of a run with the fat burning benefits of a strength workout.