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What the hell is...Circuit Training?
Member Name: Martial
Date: 11/10/01, updated on 14/10/01 (1286 review reads)
Advantages: Safety, Motivation, Versatility
Disadvantages: Clubs can be to Mundane
Circuit Training is very common in urban areas around the country. It consists of a number of activities performed one after the other.
To most athletes, circuit training is thought of as a method of intergrating resistance and aerobic exercise by performing several (nine to twelve) exercises in progression. This means perfoming one set of each exercise on the session 'menu' until all have been completed, as opposed to finishing all sets of the first exercise before progressing to the second with little or no rest between exercises. The supposed benefit of this type of exercise is improving aerobic and anaerobic functioning at the same time.
Unfortunately, this narrow definition has done a disservice to circuit training and to those who have dismissed this method as an ineffective fringe varient used by only the profoundly unfit as a way of regaining some semblance of fitness. In truth, Circuit Training has much to offer, for athletes and the average sedentary person.
Circuit Training is not defined by number of repetitions per set, length of rests, number of exercises performed or even exercises chosen, simply the progression from one station to the next in sequence until the circuit is complete, then it can be repeted if wished.
The advantage of circuit training over not circuit training is that often more work can be done in the time frame. If you decide to do 100 pull ups, 100 sit ups and 100 squats then if you complete all 100 repetitions of each exercise before moving on to the next, u will become tired and rest frequently say after every 20 pull ups. However if you circuit train and after 20 pull ups move on to sit ups, you will be saving time by working a none fatigued muscle group, when before you would have been wasting time resting.
That is the advantage of a circuit training regime to an athlete or body builder, but for the un-athletic sednetary individual there are circuit training classes. These will
usually take place in the local gym or church hall and are generally cheap, between 2-5 pounds. What you want to achieve from circuit training is very important to deciding whether to participate of not.
If you wish to develop strength then circuit training at a gym with weight machine is an advantage, if the circuit has alot of strength exercises involved like press-ups, push-ups, sit ups, pull-ups, bench press etc. then obviously it will be beneficial to you.
Also Know this, the muscle in you body varys between slow twitch endurance fibres and fast twitch power fibers. If you want to develop explosive strength, eg: Martial Artists try to do quick lifts of heavy weights with low repetiotion, this will increase the size of your fast twitch fibers. If you want to develop weaker muscles but ones which will hold out longer before tiring, eg: cross country runners then do frequent slow repetitions of light weights, this will develop you slow twitch fibers.
If you are looking to develop you respiratory system eg: heart, lungs, oxygen transportation then circuits with fairly vigorous activities like skipping, sprinting, spot jogging, climbing etc. will be of advantage, especially if you really push yourself.
If you are looking for weight loss, then the exercises you perform are not of great importance, the most important thing is that you dont overwork. your body does not start to use fat stores until at least 15 minutes into exercise and only after 30 minutes will your metabolism of fat be at its highest level. If you wear yourself out by getting out of breath of doing too much anaeorbic exercise like sprinting, you will not burn as much fat as is possible in the time you have, if you can measure your heartbeat try and keep it around 120-140, depending on your aerobic abilities.
The most important thing for successfull Circuit training is having fun, the best way to do this is through social interactions. Many Circuit trainers w
ill try and get you to interact socially by putting you in pairs. If you have trouble motivating yourself for exercise then this may help.
Circuit training is an effective training method and the clubs can be usefull, you just have to know what you want to get out of the training, and then it becomes effective.