Four reasons more athletes should take up circuit training
By Sabrina Gonzalez
Recent researches have established the potential advantages of resistance training for endurance athletes, including increased strength and improved performance. Because of this, more and more athletes are engaging in resistance training activities in order to reap these benefits. However, endurance athletes still tend to shy away from traditional weightlifting programs for fear of bulking up and consequently losing their running advantage.
Enter group circuit training programs. Circuit training is basically a group of several varied exercises performed as a set. The exercises are typically performed at a quick pace, but you are allowed to rest in between circuits.
Balancing Strength and Endurance
The major advantage of circuit training compared with other forms of exercise is that it integrates both endurance and resistance training into a single regimen. You are able to improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, and power all at the same time. You can target different areas and muscle groups simultaneously. Several studies have reported small improvements in aerobic capacity and significant increases in strength for endurance athletes after undergoing various forms of circuit training.
Training with a group has its own benefits. You don’t compete against each other and you actually work towards the same objectives. A study conducted in 2014 revealed that participants who joined group workouts, such as CrossFit, tended to be more motivated with their fitness goals and sees the class in a positive manner. Group training works similarly to a support system, minimizing dropouts during the course of training.
No Time Constraints
Another advantage of circuit training is that it can be done in a short span of time. You are able to get a complete, full body workout in less than half an hour. This is especially helpful for busy individuals who have difficulty setting aside time for strength training. The minimal duration needed to finish the workout actually increases the participant’s adherence to training. A research done in Kansas in 2013 showed that individuals who engage in these kinds of high-intensity workouts had a higher probability of sticking to the program.
Since circuit training involves high-intensity activities, your metabolism increases, allowing you to continue burning calories hours after working out. Finally, circuit training does not have a fixed format; thus, you can change it up to address your goals and avoid boredom.
It’s important to remember that although circuit training programs provide you with a complete workout, specific goals are best met by undergoing targeted training. If you are focused on increasing your strength, a traditional weight training program is still the ideal choice. However, if you want to increase your aerobic fitness and strength in a short time, then group circuit training is your best bet. Know your goals and be informed. Your body will thank you for it.