what is circuit training

Circuit training is a method of training.

A circuit usually has 8 to 15 stations, where at each station a different exercise is carried out for a certain amount of time. Circuit training can improve muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, aerobic fitness, muscular strength, speed and agility.A circuit-training program may also be designed for a certain sport. Circuits for this purpose will include exercises to improve all the muscles and skills associated with the sport.

Example: A circuit training program for basketball should include skillslike jumping, catching or throwing.SpecificityMy circuit-training program is for football and it is based over a six-week period. The 10 stations are specifically suited to what is needed to play football. The Circuit is specified for an outfield player as there are no goalkeeping skills involved in this circuit.

My circuit is aimed to improve the following over a six-week period: muscular endurance, muscular strength, speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance, and ball skills. These are all needed for an outfield football player.For example:· Muscular Endurance – To keep the muscles contracting for the full length of the match without them becoming tired or weak.· Muscular Strength – the force your muscles exert when they contract.

This is an important part of football as it is a contact sport and it is also very physical, players need to be able to guard the ball and hold other players off when they are challenging for the ball. Also muscular strength is useful when taking a throw-in, good muscular strength in the abdominal muscles is required to throw the ball higher and further to reach a player that is a long distance away from the touch-line.· Speed – the ability to perform a movement in a short period of time. This is essential in football, for example to be able to sprint after a through ball or tackle an opponent who is through on goal.

· Agility – the ability to change direction quickly and control movements of the whole body. This is needed to be able to change direction quickly while dribbling or to collect a loose ball.· Cardiovascular Endurance – the ability of the heart, lungs and circulation to deliver oxygen and remove waste during exercise. This is essential for the player to keep a constant pace all the way through the match.

This is hard to perform in a circuit, so it would be better to improve this by running long distances or cycling.· Ball Skills – the skills in football are all open skills. This means that the movement will change in a different environment. A skill is a particular action or set of actions.

These are essential for football as they cover everything from a simple pass to a more complicated skills of dribbling the ball in different directions. These are all motor skills as they are skills involving movement.OverloadTo improve the fitness of a part of the body, you need to overload it. That means you need to make it work harder than usual.

Over time, it adapts to meet the increased demand by getting fitterYou can overload your body in three ways :· By increasing the Frequency of exercise- how often you do it.For example start by exercising twice a week, then move up to three or four times a week.· By increasing the Intensity of the exercise- how hard you work.For example run faster or lift heavier weights.

· By increasing the Time you spend on the exercise. If you are very unfit you might start off jogging just for 5 minutes a session, and work your way up week by week to 30 minutes a session.ProgressionYour body takes time to adapt to the increased demands on it. So you should build up your exercise level gradually.

But once it reaches a certain level when it can comfortably deal with the level of exercise, it will not improve anymore. This is called plateauing. To prevent this from happening the exercises must be made progressively harder to ensure that the body continues to improve.Equipment· 20 Cones· 3 Hoops· 10 Soccer Balls· 1 Measuring TapeThe CircuitThe order in which the exercises are to be done are:Warm up>> Stretches>> The Circuit>> Warm DownWarm up & Stretching – The warm up is very important, as the exercises you will be doing are very demanding.

The warm up will increase the blood flow and heart rate, warm up the muscles, warms and loosens joints. This will prevent any injuries to the muscles or joints.Start by lightly jogging for approximately 10 mins. DO NOT SPRINT!!!.

Then move on to some dynamic stretching. For example, rotating hips and arms. Then stretch all the major muscles used for football, each stretch should be held for a period of 8 – 10 seconds.Diagram KeyYour movements Ball movements Cones HoopsThe muscles that need to be stretched are: 1.


Deltoids6.TrapeziumStation OneOn this station you have to start at the line, sprint to the first cone then sprint back to the line then sprint to the second cone,then sprint back to the line then sprint to the third cone, then back to the line. Thensprint to the second cone and back then to the first cone and back to complete the exercise. This will improve your speed, agility and muscular endurance of the quadriceps and hamstrings.

Station TwoThis station is a sit up exercise. Perform as many as you can in one minute. These will improve muscular endurance in the abdominal muscles; this comes in handy when a throw-in needs to be thrown over a long distance. This is explosive strength because it is done in one explosive movement.

Station ThreeThis exercise concentrates on a player’s chipping ability and accuracy, the hoops should be placed 5m apart. Place a ball behind the line and chip it so it bounces in the first hoop, then chip a ball so it bounces in the second hoop. Then chip it so it bounces in the third hoop; next chip it so it bounces in the second hoop, then the first hoop.Station FourThis is a shooting exercise.

Place two cones 5m apart, then line up five balls 10m away from the cones and one cone 2m behind each ball. Strike the first ball then turn around and sprint around the cone and strike the next ball then turn around and sprint to round the cone etc. this will improve muscular strength and accuracy.Station FiveUse this time 1 minute to rest and relax.

Some light stretching can be done to remove the lactic acid that has built up i from n your muscles during the first four exercises.Station SixThe exercise on this station are burpees, burpees are squat thrusts and star jumps mixed together. Do a squat thrust then stand up and do a star jump and then another squat thrust then stand up and do another star jump. This will improve your agility, cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance and strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings.

Station SevenPlace six cones 1m apart then dribble a ball in and out of them and sprint back to the start, repeat this for 1 minute. This will improve ball skills, speed and agility. Record how many complete runs are done.Station EightThe exercise on this station is kick-ups.

Do as many as you can in one minute. This will improve ball control, and muscular endurance.Station NineThis exercise is passing; make a rectangle with cones 5m by 2m, then pass the ball back and forth using both feet. See how many complete passes are done in 1 minute.

This exercise will improve the ability to pass the ball accurately and ball control.Once the circuit is finished it can be repeated or a warm down will take place, the warm down will consist of gentle jogging and stretching to remove the lactic acid that builds up in muscles while they are being worked. The warm down should help you perform better next time you exercise.The muscles that were stretched in the warm up should also be stretched in the warm down.

The stretches should be held longer then they were in the warm up to prevent stiffness and soreness.The table below displays results for one week of this circuit.Exercise AmountShuttle runs 3Sit-ups 30Chipping ball into hoops 2Shooting 4/1Rest -Burpees 14Dribbling 7Kick ups 27Passing 50In six weeks time these results should improve, below is a results table set over six weeks.Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91 3 30 2 4/1* – 14 7 35 502 3 31 2 4/2 – 15 8 39 533 3 30 3 4/3 – 15 8 43 544 2 28 3 4/2 – 14 6 40 535 4 33 3 5/4 – 18 8 48 566 4 36 4 5/5 – 19 8 56 56*On target/ScoredEvaluationIn general my circuit program was successful, it tested each area of fitness that I wanted it to.

Although it was successful, because there were so many people doing their own circuit program there wasn’t enough equipment, groups had to be formed so the equipment could be shared.Station 1, shuttle runs, this station was very successful by the end of the six week period I had improved my speed as I did more runs in one minute. It also improved my agility and the endurance of my quadriceps and hamstrings. Station 2, sit-up exercise, this station was very tiring, after each time I performed this exercise I could feel my abdominal muscles becoming stronger.

I improved throughout the six weeks, there was a slight glitch in the results, which was in week 4 I’d had a cold that week and that, was why I was under performing. But as a whole I improved the strength and endurance of my abdominal muscles.Station 3, chipping balls into hoops, I found this exercise very difficult my accuracy and chipping ability improved drastically. Station 4, shooting this station tested my shooting and accuracy ability.

This was one of the easier stations as shooting isn’t a very strenuous work out, although I did improve in the six-week period. Station 6, burpees, this I found was the most difficult as it was very tiring and I had already done 4 other stations. This did improve my agility, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings.Station 7, dribbling, this was a fairly easy exercise I have improved on my speed and ball control, I noticed this in week five when I wasn’t as tired as I was the weeks before.

Station 8, kick-ups, I am fairly good at kick-ups already but by the end of the program I was able to keep the ball under control at a lower height than what I started with. Station 9, passing, this station tested my right and left foot, my accuracy and my speed, my left foot has improved a lot by doing this exercise, my right foot has slightly improved.During week four my results decrease, the reason for this is I had a cold that week and was unable to perform to my full potential, as my results show.I found the circuit to be very intense and tiring, but very effective as my circuit tested all the areas I wanted it to.

I was very tired though after completing each week of the program, my muscles were aching and my heart and breathing rate had increased drastically. If I were to perform the circuit program again I would start by having a recovery time between each station, also I would make the exercise time slightly less at the beginning of the program so I could get use to doing the exercises gradually.Although I had improved during the six-week period I had only improved slightly, so if I were repeating this program I would make it last 12 weeks so improvements could be seen more easily. Once the circuit becomes to easy I would have to make it harder to affect plateauing.

If the circuit is not made harder the body will stop improving in the areas of muscular endurance and anaerobic respiration. The body must also train to prevent reversibility. This is when the affects of training decrease and the benefits are lost.

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