Circuit Training Time!

As winter approaches and the available time and light outside diminishes, we depend on indoor training. This is an opportunity to take a few days away from your regular routine and introduce circuit training into your regime. This can be the time when you really make progress with your strength, endurance, flexion and mobility. In addition to your sport of choice, A well-designed circuit training routine can be a beneficial addition to any endurance athletes training program

At one point, many endurance athletes avoided strength conditioning for fear it would be detrimental. However, studies have shown that this is definitely not the case and even heavy resistance training can aid endurance performance.

Long-term strength endurance is required by athletes such as distance runners, swimmers, cyclists, triathletes and rowers for example. Sports such as soccer, field hockey and basketball also require good muscular endurance, but the intermittent nature of these sports requires short-term strength endurance.

Circuit training program can be used to develop either short-term or long-term strength endurance

Short-term muscular endurance is required for sports and events that last between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Certain swimming and running events fall under this duration and strength endurance is required to maintain a high level of work throughout the race.

But sports that last much longer than 2 minutes like soccer, field hockey, rugby, boxing, wrestling and martial arts also demand similar short-term strength endurance. Games like these consist of short, repetitive bouts of high intensity activity, often with little rest periods in between.

There are many forms of circuit training to build short-term; strength endurance. Athletes competing in continuous endurance events such as distance running or cycling require a different program design.

Of course, you don’t have to be athlete to benefit from circuit training. Circuit training workouts can be used for general fitness or for cross training during the closed season.

A suitable circuit training program will help athletes to cope with fatigue and tolerate high levels of lactic acid accumulation. A relatively low resistance is used and circuit stations are completed for brief periods of time similar to what might be expected during competition.

Below is a set of parameters for designing a circuit training program for short-term strength endurance:

Length of exercise (:30 sec or :60 sec) followed by equal or half rest (e.g. :30 sec ON, :15 OFF). Begin with equal rest and as your body and system adjust then you can lessen the rest time while keeping the work time the same. Always be sure the exercises are done methodically with good technique. Racing the clock leads to bad form and injury.

Below is a sample circuit that can be done anywhere. Do this 1x through and see how you feel. As you get stronger add a set until you can do 4x through without stopping. You’ll find that you may not need any weights!!

Sample Circuit:
1. Step Ups
2. Push Ups
3. Squats
4. Plank
5. Hi-Step (run in place with high knees)
6. Seated Dips
7. Burpees (with or without push up)
8. One Legged Lunge
9. Mountain Climbers
10 Sit-Ups

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