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Circuit Training vs. Isolation Training

by Jack Henderson

Here at Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy, our focus is on functional fitness workouts in the form of group circuit training. This differs from what you’ll see most people typically doing in your big franchise gyms for their workouts; bicep curls, tricep pulldowns, quad extensions – those sorts of things. The difference? The latter are isolation exercises – movements which target a single muscle group.

Functional fitness, on the other hand, targets various muscles and muscle groups at once. Our team wanted to talk through the major differences, and why we believe targeting the whole body through our circuit training is the way to go. Whilst you’re here, you can make the most of our latest sign-up offer: a two week trial membership for £20 – by clicking here!

Not Everybody Can Gym Every Day

Now, there’s nothing particularly wrong per se with isolation training, it can serve a very specific purpose; if you’re training at an extremely high level for a particular sport, then supplementary isolation exercises might be needed. Likewise, if you’ve the time to target individual muscle groups, so that you’re still getting all of the major groups in over the course of a week, then more targeted exercises can again work well; you might have the time to do workouts on separate days for shoulders, chest, back, legs, core and arms, for instance, and if so – fair enough!

For the average person, however, exercise fits around our life rather than the other way around. Functional training helps tackle this issue, however. Our circuit training sessions, for instance, offer full-body workouts every single time. So, even though you might only be attending three weekly sessions, you’re going to be getting the same benefits (or near enough) that you would by religiously focusing on isolated movements.


Functional Training Benefits Daily Life

16-inch biceps, earned by way of dumbbell curl after endless dumbbell curl, might make your arms look nice on a night out, but they’re not going to do a huge amount for you, practically speaking. Functional movements, by contrast, which tackle several joints, muscle groups, planes of movement, etc. The result is a form of training that helps develop a more well-rounded and well-adapted body, one that’s better equipped to deal with the wear and tear that life throws at us.

What’s more, training in isolation (no, not that kind – we’ve had quite enough of that over the past year!) can actually increase the risk of injury as you target certain muscle groups and areas, whilst neglecting others. Isolation training also doesn’t tend to improve your cardiovascular fitness, whereas circuit training exercises and functional movements almost always do!

An Analogy

Another way of looking at is it is to imagine two different cars being manufactured. The first car is built from lots of different component parts, all built separately from one another, before ultimately being brought together to complete the vehicle. The other car - the circuit training car – is built from fewer pieces and built altogether, rather than separately.

You end up with the first car functioning fine and looking great! But it doesn’t quite fit together perfectly; it’s all style and no substance. The second car, by comparison, runs smoothly; there are fewer moving parts to go wrong because everything has been developed with the other parts in mind. That’s what circuit training offers you; a holistic, all-encompassing approach to your fitness goals. Besides, you can still end up getting nice-looking muscles from circuit training, too!

Complete Workout

Our Academy

Here at Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy, we have a purpose-built outdoors circuit training space complete with various different training zones, as well as our own team of highly-qualified personal trainers. With our own private car park and training space, we differ from most outdoors boot camps in the facilities and equipment we can offer.

Too many boot camps ask you to rock up in a local park and to bring your own equipment, yourself. Not us, though. We provide everything you need in our weekly morning sessions and we can even provide a training space indoors for when the weather turns really nasty, too. Full disclosure, though, we like to train outdoors wherever possible so a little bit of drizzle isn’t going to save you, we’re afraid!

Running Track

Contact Us

Circuit training (with a focus on functional fitness) is undoubtedly one of the best types of exercise out there. Whatever your fitness goals – whether it be to build muscle, become more athletic or lose weight – this training type works highly effectively. So, if you’d like to find out more about our Essex circuit training sessions, then get in touch! Contact Elite Outdoor Fitness Academy today on 01702 232 470 or by emailing us at info@elitefitness.co.uk. We look forward to having you at one of our sessions!

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