Circuit training basically means moving every 5 minutes or so from one exercise to another exercise. The type of exercises may differ. In some training sessions aerobics are followed up with muscle building exercises such as weight machines. Other boot camp sessions may concentrate only on aerobic muscle toning. If you decide you would like to take a circuit training class you need to consider the points mentioned below:
Results of circuit training
When you do circuit training, you increase your strength and fitness and are able to burn a lot of calories. But this training will not give you the same type of conditioning which you would get if you did aerobics and separate strength training. So if you opt for circuit classes try and put in another 20 minutes at least 3 days in the week of pure aerobic exercising.
Do you have the stamina?
Though circuit training can be a bit intense, it is made adaptable to each individual. This means beginners are allowed to use lighter weights and given simpler moves. As you progress through the class the workouts become more intense, but by that time your body will have adapted.
Is circuit training for anyone?
Yes. Circuit training is good for anyone who would like to break out into a good sweat while exercising. At times people get bored of doing regular workouts and look out for something more challenging. There may be others who have a really busy schedule and do not have time to spare working out on a daily basis. So they opt for circuit training which will give them the benefit of building strength and the benefits of aerobics.
Circuit training for runners
Circuit training can be great training for running, especially events like city2surf where there are lot’s of steep hills which need strong legs to climb to the top. If you’re following a running program be sure to follow a steady 12-week progression.
Importance of technique
Since the exercises move so quickly from one to another, the instructor of the boot camp has to be extremely sharp. He has to be in the know of what each person’s level of activity is, and set the moves accordingly. All this has to be performed with the proper technique in spite of there being hardly a minute’s rest in between each change of exercise.
Areas which boot camp exercises target:
- The core area. Your core is strengthened by any exercises that engages it e.g. the low cable abduction hip machine or any exercise using a front plank.
- Your arms and legs. Dumbbells are used for tricep extensions and bicep curls. For the legs the seated leg press in the gym provides a good workout. Lunges and squats can be done to get an extra boost.
- Lunges are great for exercising the glutes. In the gym you could use the machine for hamstring curl.
- To strengthen the back, the machine row equipment is great. Or if you are outdoors you can do pull-ups or use a front plank for back strengthening.
If you are on the lookout for 30 minutes training of your full body, boot camp circuit training could be the answer. You will benefit both on muscle building and toning. It also provides a strong cardio workout. The exercises you can do are varied and many so it also helps you to avoid getting bored. Another big benefit from circuit training is that you can do it at the pace you want.