Circuit training for obese beginners can be a very effective way to get started at your own pace. Circuit training combines cardio and strength training for a quick and effective workout that gets you major results! It’s a great workout choice for obese beginners.

circuit training for obese beginners doing push ups

Circuit training hits two birds with one stone. You perform strength training workouts quickly for aerobic benefits as well. It’s the most effective way to build muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness which makes it ideal for overweight people. It’s not easy, but you can work up to success! And it’s a great start to your fitness journey!

Circuit means to move or go around. If you’re not able to accomplish a circuit, you can build up strength by walking, cycling, or climbing stairs. Then add some strength training once or twice a week. Once you get a handle on that, you can start to strengthen your upper and lower body and core muscles to increase your heart rate and get your calorie burn in a short period of time. Just don’t give up. You will get there! If you can’t do the whole circuit, just do as much as you can and work your way up to the whole beginner set.

Circuit training combines strength training done back to back. There are usually 5-10 exercises and you do it repeatedly. You move enough for it to be aerobic exercise as well. There is no rest, so you use your time more efficiently.

Remember, before starting ANY kind of exercise, consult with your doctor to make sure they recommend it.

For functional training, we use exercises that mimic movements you do in everyday life. Think about the muscles it requires to get up from a chair or reach something on a shelf. These types of exercises not only burn calories and fat, they help you perform better in your day to day activities. And there are ways to get a full body workout doing this.

Circuts usually range from 8-10 exercises, but it will vary slightly depending on your goals, experience levels, and how much time you have. No two routines will look the same.

If you want more of my weight loss story and how I grew up on little Debbies and soda and learned how to change my health and life through exercise and nutrition, check out this nutrition guide. It has some basic dos and don’ts that my wife and I used for me to lose 80 pounds and be on no medication at age 53. There are also some sample meal plans in there. It was a long process, not a quick fix, but if I can do it, so can you!

Benefits of circuit training

Research shows that circuit training helps lower blood pressure, it’s a highly efficient way to lose weight and you burn more calories in 30 minutes than you would with treadmill or elliptical workouts. There are so many benefits of circuit training:

  • Improves muscular endurance. Over time, you’ll be able to exercise longer without feeling fatigued.
  • Improves heart health and lung capacity. Your heart rate stays up the whole time.
  • Increases muscle growth and strength. Circuit training puts muscles through ongoing tension which helps to build them larger and stronger.
  • Is time efficient. Since you don’t take breaks and you work cardio with weight training, it takes less time to complete a workout.
  • Offers a full body workout. You do a variety of exercises in the same workout.
  • Offers variety so you don’t get bored.
  • Improves mood. Both forms of exercise done in circuit training are provided to increase endorphins which improves mood.
  • Promotes weight loss. You burn a lot of calories with circuit training.
  • Can be adapted to all fitness levels.

Types of circuit training

  1. Cardio circuits include quick moves such as jumping jacks or burpees in succession with exercises such as biking, or elliptical. The exercises are all high intensity cardio moves.
  2. Strength circuits consist of weight bearing exercises such as can be done with machine or free weights.
  3. You can combine both for a cardio-strength circuit.
  4. There are repetition circuits which gives you a number of reps before moving to the next one.
  5. There are also timed circuits which times you a time to repeat before moving on.
  6. And more specifically, you can do a competition circuit which is similar, but you compete for how many times you can perform the exercise in the amount of time given.
  7. Or you can do a sport specific workout designed for athletes in a certain sport.

Gym workout circuit

Before you start your circuit, you need to warm up. You can do some walking or some other type of movement that gets your heart rate up a little bit and helps your body to acclimate to the activity that is coming. Don’t just start your circuit cold turkey. Warm up for about 10-15 minutes and then do some light stretching. Then you’ll be good to get started.

Then start your beginner circuit. If you can’t do all of it, just do as much as you can and then move on to the next exercise. Keep going through it 3 times. If you only manage 1 of each, then great, try for 2 next time. The only way you don’t improve is if you give up. In a few weeks and then a few months, you’ll be amazed at how far you have come. Set short term fitness goals to shoot for. And some long term fitness goals too. Journal your progress and measure your body to keep track of where you’ve started and how far you’ve come.

Here are some fitness motivation quotes to inspire you too! And check out these fun workouts too.

obese push up

Now let’s get started:

  • 10 push ups (start however you can do them and work your way to the best form you can)
  • 20 bodyweight squats (pretend you are sitting in a chair, but don’t sit all the way down, if you can’t get low, just start where you can get to)
  • 10 rows holding a dumbbell (or a gallon of milk, or a bottle of water) (pretend you are rowing a boat with an oar)
  • 10 walking lunges on each leg (like taking a really big step forward)
  • 10 second plank
  • 40 side to sides (think jumping jacks, but don’t jump, just move your body from the starting position to the open position and then back again)
obese lunge

I believe in you and I know you can do this. Start where you can and work hard to improve every day. Once you master this, add some more difficult moves. Because this is the beginning of a new you!

And don’t forget that if you want the most benefit, you need to adjust your diet as well. You can’t out train a bad diet. So take baby steps like drinking more water or switching out a sugary snack for a piece of fruit and work your way to a better diet from there.

For more beginner workouts check these out: