Meet Brian. He’s one of several MMA dudes who goes to my gym. I recruited Brian to help me get through a month of circuit training.
I recruited Brian because I noticed he uses circuit training fairly regularly. While I have a few circuits I use, in general I don’t have a lot of experience with circuits as a training tool.
For the past few weeks we’ve been doing circuits together twice a week.
Wednesday was Brian’s turn to make up our circuit. He incorporated some explosive exercises this time. Like previous circuits he’s put me through, it was a comprehensive full body workout.
We did these exercises as 30s work/30s rest and repeated the circuits five times each. We took about 4 minutes rest between the three sets of circuits.
- squat jumps onto a bench
- split stance jumpp
- firemen (like burpees but with no pushup and no jump at the end. focuses on abs more than anything else)
Though this circuit is much higher volume than my circuit (three times as much!), I am still of the opinion that it is not as difficult as my 15 minutes of pain. These circuits aren’t as explosive as the one I use which is based on the olympic lifts. In my circuit, because the exercises are done very quickly, it’s more cardiovascularly taxing. Or is it just that I push myself harder in my own ciruit? Who knows.
I do know that it takes me longer to recover from my circuits than from Brian’s circuits. That does not mean my circuit is “better”, just different. How you feel right after a workout is not really a good indicator of workout effectiveness. I feel oddly invigorated after Brian’s circuits. Perhaps his circuits are more effective in the endorphine releasing department. After my circuits I feel very sleepy. It’s as if my body wants to get to its recovery work immediately and there is no convincing it otherwise.
Interested in circuit training?
Brian’s circuits are a great place to start with circuit training because the movements will be fairly familiar to anyone with free weight training experience.
As always, if you feel dizzy or nauseated, stop. Puking during a workout isn’t a sign of mental toughness, it’s a sign of idiocy and not respecting your own body. Your body will adapt to deal with the buildup of lactic acid as you gain experience with circuit training. Doing workouts you can tolerate and recover from will give you better results over the long term than doing workouts you have to struggle to complete.
If you do not have much weight room experience, have someone show you how to execute the lifts properly. Learn to do the movements well at a normal pace for 8-10 reps before trying circuit training. As fatigue sets in, it’s tempting to allow your form to get sloppy. Do not let this happen! Sloppy circuit training is a recipe for disaster. Lift well first. Then worry about lifting hard.
Good Luck in your training! If you try Brian’s circuit, let us know how it goes!