Circuit Training for General Fitness or Strength Development

November 12, 2012

Circuit Training for General Fitness or Strength Development

Circuit training has been used for a long time as a method for simultaneously promoting cardiovascular fitness and building strength. Circuit training has become popular in gyms over recent years as it has had proven success. This exercising technique is a hit with both individuals working out in order to lose weight or boost self-esteem and athletes, keeping up their all round strength and fitness. Circuit training refers to the way your exercise regime is structured. It will include a number of stations as which a number of different exercises will be carried out with very little rest in between. A circuit training program should be tailored to fit the intended outcome of the individual. For instance the program for someone wanting to improve their general fitness will be different to an athlete hoping to develop in sport-specific areas. There are three main kinds of circuit training program.

  1. General Fitness

A general fitness program will involve a circuit with a variety of resistance exercises and cardiovascular workouts. Each station should be completed and then immediately move on to the next one in order to build up strength and endurance. Try to complete this circuit 3-4 times a week making sure to leave 48 hours between each session that included resistance training, as muscles need the time to repair. 1 -2 minutes should be spent at each station so use weights that will allow you to complete the set in that time. Don’t push yourself to hard and never rush when using weights or doing resistance training. There should be between 8-12 stations and you should aim to complete 1-3 circuits per session. Give your self a couple of minutes of rest time between circuits. As it become easier, either reduce rest time between stations or increase the time spent at each station. This kind of circuit training may also be used by athlete’s off-season, in order to maintain general fitness.

  1. Short-term strength endurance

There are some sports, which require repetitive but short-term spells of intense physical activity. For example football and field hockey call for this kind of skill and fitness. In order to train for these kinds of sports, a circuit training program consisting of a short time spent at a few stations in required. Time spend at each station should be reduced to between 30 and 60 seconds to reflect the burst of energy often required in their sports. There should also be fewer stations, as exercises should focus on the muscle groups that they most commonly use. 3 – 4 circuits should be completed per session with 2-3 sessions a week.

  1. Long-term strength endurance

Some athletes who participate in endurance sports such as long distance cycling, running and rowing will require long-term strength endurance workouts. Circuit training programs designed for these people should include stations with lighter loads so that the exercise can be done carried out for a long period of time. There may be fewer stations again as there will be specific muscle groups that need to be developed. As it becomes easier slightly increase weights or reduce the rest period between stations. Eventually stations should be completed back to back with no rest periods until the entire circuit is complete.

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