"Circuit training was an instrumental part of my training from a very young age. It is a good way of introducing strength and conditioning work to your programme and there are so many different exercises you should never get bored!
The skills and fitness you gain from doing circuits mean you will be better prepared to add weight training to your programme later on. Remember to always get good coaching advice to ensure good posture and technique. During my athletics career I incorporated circuits into my training schedule all year round. In the winter I did more frequent, harder sessions and reduced the number and intensity during the summer season."
- Dame Kelly Holmes
Why do circuit training?
- Improves mobility, strength, speed and stamina
- Easily structured to provide a whole body conditioning session
- Training load can be increased gradually
- A wide range of exercises to select from
- Can be adjusted to suit age, fitness, specific needs and health of the athlete
Safety Top Tips for Group Sessions
- Ensure safety at all times
- Check equipment for damage, e.g. benches are not broken underneath
- Make sure all bags and clothes are put against walls or in a cupboard so not around circuit area
- Use space effectively depending on the size of your group
- Use appropriate circuit training session for the time of year and level of athletes
- Check for any injury problems within the group and adjust accordingly
- Use circuit training cue cards next to exercises for reference
- Ensure group wear appropriate clothing for training
- Ensure group warm up for 10 minutes and stretch prior to session
- Ensure group have fluids
- Give explanations of circuit training session within wider training schedule, i.e. endurance
- Give clear instructions and demonstrations of all exercises (or ensure someone does)
- Encourage and motivate the group
- Give clear signals for starting and stopping repetitions or sessions (whistle or shout loudly)
- Observe individuals to ensure quality exercises
- Observe individuals to ensure they are coping with the session or whether adjustments should be implemented
- Ensure warm down of 10 minutes is conducted along with stretching
Endurance Circuit One. Ideal for 1-36 people.
This circuit is great for winter training if done as a whole routine. It can however be modified by making it as short/long or easy/intensive as you need.
Start with group number one, rotating around the four exercises, before moving to group two and so on.
Don’t forget that with circuits the repetitions/timings are set depending on the workout you need, the time of the year and the muscle groups you need to work.
E.g. Full circuit - 30-45 seconds on each exercise, move straight on to next exercise.
OR A number of repetitions on each exercise of 10 upwards, moving on to next exercise after resting 10/20 seconds.
All circuits that I post can be done as an overload circuit where you do one body group at a time, i.e. all arms, then all trunk, then all legs. So you would go through the groups as follows - 1-4-7, 2-5-8, 3-6-9.
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