Circuit training is an excellent way to improve mobility, strength and stamina. The circuit training comprises 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 set time before moving on to the next exercise. The exercises within each circuit are separated by a short rest period, 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.
Identify on paper 3 to 4 circuits of 8 to 12 exercise that can be performed with the available resources. In each circuit try to ensure that no two consecutive exercises exercise the same muscle group. e.g. do not have press ups followed by pull ups.
The exercise circuit should be set up so that you work each body part as follows: Total-body, Upper-body, Lower-body, Core etc. It is important to conduct a warm up at the start of the session and a cool down at the end of the session.
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, Incline press
- Core | Sit ups (lower abdominals), Crunches (upper abdominals), Oblique Twist
- Lower Body |Squat jumps, Compass jumps, Astride jumps, Step ups, Shuttle runs, Lunges
- Full Body |Burpees, Skipping, Spiderman Crawls, Star Jumps, Mountain Climbers
Pick 3 exercises from the 4 lists of targeted body areas (12 altogether) and perform the as per the format above.
Pros & Cons of Circuit Training
- 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
- Great for fat loss
- Many exercises require specialized equipment – e.g. gym equipment
- Ample 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
Incorporate circuit training into your fitness routine and reap the benefits! Thanks for reading.