Posted by: CBC | 2003/12/08

Super Circuit

Hi Conrad,

What kind of fitness does "circuit" & in particular "super circuit" (weights followed by running up stairs) builds e.g. recovery, endurance, cardio etc.

What kind of sports will benefit from this type of training. Can you really buid muscles from this kind of training?

What are your views on high intensity training i.e. 1 exercise & 1 set per body part till failure, 3x per week - as oppossed to the old traditional way of many sets & exercises e.g. 5 sets of 3 exercises per body part once to twice per week?

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Our expert says:
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Circuit and Super Circuit is used mainly to condition people on a fitness level as well as a toning level-this kind of training is known as peripheral/interval training where you work your muscles as well as your cardio vascular system. Most people do circuit for a few weeks before embarking on free weights although I don't necessarily ascribe to this.

There is not really any sport that will benefit from this kind of training-the circuit in the gym that is. There are other types of similiar training regimens that rugby players use that resemble this type of training but the intensity and the type of training I am referring to here is so intense and sport specific that even the rugby players throw up from it at the beginning of the season-my colleagues at the Blue Bulls use this kind of sport specific training and we all know the kind of results the Blue Bulls achieved this past season, not to mention the lack of serious injuries that they encountered. Now if only the BOKS could latch onto this instead of running on the beach, swimming and boxing-but that is a topic all on it's own.

The 1 set and 1 exercise per body part 3x a week is an advanced training program that should not always be followed for too a long time. One usually gets there progressively where you do 3 exercises per body part, 2 per body part and then 1 per body part.

At a stage I trained one muscle group per day with 3 or four exercises per muscle group that I trained. This is very similar to the method you mentioned.

I am not sure what oyur level of gym conditioning is so maybe you can let me know and then we can see what we can do for you.

Keep well,

Conrad Booysen-Biokineticist

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Our users say:
Posted by: ca | 2003/12/09

Morning Conrad,CBC

Conrad, are you saying then that once someone has reached a certain fitness level - one can use the super circuit as full body conditioning programme. I have changed from full free weight training to part super circuit training and part free weight training (every other day with rest) and I can tell you the super circuit has worked wonders in terms of cutting and conditioning.Would you say that the super circuit is underutilized? Not many people raise it as an exercise option.

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