How Effective Is Circuit Training Vs. Lifting Weights?

Dumbbells are an essential tool to both circuit training and weightlifting.
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Deciding whether to incorporate circuit training or weightlifting into an exercise regimen really depends on your goals. While circuit training provides muscular endurance as well as a focus on total body training, lifting weights focuses on muscular strength and typically targets one or two muscle groups at a time. Each workout provides different benefits and can be incorporated into any fitness routine.

Circuit Training

    The American Council on Exercise explains circuit training to be a workout with eight to 10 exercise stations, with each station lasting between 30 seconds to a few minutes. Each station's exercise has a different focus, so you are working every muscle in your body without the need to rest. The advantage to circuit training is its ability to target all the muscles in the body in a small amount of time, making it an ideal workout choice for those in a time crunch.

Lifting Weights

    Many women are under the impression that lifting weights will turn them into the Hulk, but the reality is that they are missing out on a crucial element to their workout regimen. The American College of Sports Medicine explains that women have too much estrogen to bulk up like men. Adding strength training to your fitness routine will help make everyday activities, such as picking up groceries, easier. Lifting weights also helps to build bone strength, which will help to fight off osteoporosis in the future.


    Circuit training has gained popularity among women because of its ability to torch calories and tone muscle all over, but lifting weights also has its place in a woman's fitness routine. Lifting weights won't burn as many calories during the workout as circuit training will, but it will help to build lean muscle, which will help to improve calorie burn over time.

Deciding Which Is Right

    When it comes to choosing between circuit training or lifting weights, it is all about preference. Both workouts are effective and valuable to any exercise regimen. One way to decide is to simply try each one for a month; then select the one that is more enjoyable and will be easiest to incorporate into your life.

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