Sunday, June 8, 2008

Round, Round and Round!!!!

No..I am not talking about my friend’s beer belly!!!! I am talking about the latest “in” phenomenon – Circuit Training, with specialist gyms coming up all over Pune, targeting especially older women.
As the name suggests, there is a circuit (a chain which starts and ends at the same place) of different exercises or “stations” positioned closely. You have to perform the exercise at each station, in rapid succession, without rest in between, until you finish the circuit. Rests are allowed in between circuits.

Circuit Training is a form of Interval Training,
Where work and rest are interspersed -
No two successive exercises focus on the same body part. As a simple example, if you perform a squat (exercise for legs) at one station, you may not exercise legs again in the same circuit, or at least not until next 4 to 5 stations, depending on the nature of the circuit -
In which strength / resistance exercises are combined with endurance / aerobic exercises, thus combining the benefits of both a cardiovascular (Peripheral Heart Action effect) and strength training workout.

Advantages –
Generally designed to provide a whole body workout.
Can be done using minimal equipments and/or calisthenics
It is also recommended for beginners for a full-body conditioning workout.
Generally done in a group, hence can be fun and enjoyable
Its time efficient – you can design to cover all three aspects of Fitness – Strength, Stamina and Suppleness in the same workout, where 1 circuit can get over in as less as 3 minutes!!
Limitations –
Not very suitable if your aim is to build muscle, since the intensity used is generally very low.
Boredom sets in after sometime
However, with creativity and the right guide, it can surely be a great way to be fit, especially when done in a group.

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