Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or endurance training or resistance training using high-intensity. It targets strength building or muscular endurance. An exercise "circuit" is one completion of all prescribed exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete, one begins the first exercise again for the next circuit. Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise.
Typical activities in a circuit training
- Squat ups
- Bench dips
- Back extensions
- Medicine ball chest pass
- Bench lift
- Inclined press up
Core & trunk
- Sit ups (lower abdominal)
- Stomach crunch (upper abdominal)
- Back extension chest raise
- Squat jumps
- Compass jumps
- Astride jumps
- Step ups
- Shuttle runs
- Hopping shuttles
- Bench squat
- Squat thrusts
Effects of circuit training
Studies at Baylor University and The Cooper Institute show that circuit training is the most time efficient way to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. Studies show that circuit training helps women to achieve their goals and maintain them longer than other forms of exercise or diet.
Morgan and Anderson claim:
Perhaps a most profound finding of this study, from a health perspective, is that this investigation clearly shows that performance of this circuit of exercises,this level of intensity elicited oxygen consumption values (39% to 51.5% of VO2max) that meet established guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for the recommended intensity (40% to 85% of VO2maxR) of exercise for developing and maintaining cardio-respiratory fitness. Thus, this circuit not only provides a suitable muscular fitness stimulus but also helps to meet ACSM cardiovascular guidelines and the newly published Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 for physical activity.
One advantage is that reduced station times will encourage the participants to lift heavier weights, which means they can achieve overload with smaller number of repetitions: typically in the range of 25 to 50 depending on their training goals.
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- Klika, Brett; et al. "High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment". ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
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