Health and Fitness





Circuit Training

Circuit Training

Circuit training is an excellent way to improve mobility, strength and stamina. The circuit training format utilizes a group of 6 to 10 strength exercises that are completed one exercise after another. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a prescribed time before moving on to the next exercise. The exercises within each circuit are separated by brief, timed rest intervals, and each circuit is separated by a longer rest period. The total number of circuits performed during a training session may vary from two to six depending on your training level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), your period of training (preparation or competition) and your training objective.
The following are examples of exercises that can be used in a circuit training session:

  • Upper-body
    • Press ups, Bench dips, Pull ups, Medicine ball chest pass, Bench lift, Inclined press up
  • Core & trunk
    • Sit ups (lower abdominals), Stomach crunch (upper abdominals), Back extension chest raise
  • Lower-body
    • Squat jumps, Compass jumps, Astride jumps, Step ups, Shuttle runs, Hopping shuttles, Bench squat
  • Total-body
    • Treadmills, Squat thrusts, Skipping

Duration

  • 20 to 30 seconds work on each exercise with a 30 second recovery between each exercise
  • 3 to 5 sets with a 3 minute recovery between each set

Example basic program

Identify a circuit of 8 exercises so that you work each body part as follows: Total-body, Upper-body, Lower-body, Core & Trunk, Total-body, Upper-body, Lower-body, Core & Trunk

Exercise

Circuits

Week

Work

Rest

Number

Rest

1

20 sec

20 sec

2

2 min

2

30 sec

30 sec

2

2 min

3

40 sec

40 sec

2

3 min

4

20 sec

20 sec

3

2 min

5

30 sec

30 sec

3

2 min

6

30 sec

30 sec

4

2 min

7

40 sec

40 sec

3

3 min

8

30 sec

30 sec

3

2 min

Complete the circuit training session twice a week with at least 48 hours between each session. If you are carrying out other training on the same day then the circuit session should follow, with a suitable recovery period, the other session.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of circuit training are:

  • Develops strength and endurance
  • Appropriate form of training for most sports
  • Can be adjusted to suit age, fitness and health of the athlete
  • Exercises are simple enough to make each athlete feel a sense of achievement in completing them
  • A wide range of exercises to select from which will maintain the athlete's enthusiasm

Disadvantages of circuit training are:

    • Many exercises require specialized equipment - e.g. gym equipment
    • more than enough space required to set up the circuit exercises & equipment
    • In general can only be conducted where appropriate facilities/equipment are available
    • Use of additional equipment requires appropriate health and safety monitoring