Rediscover Your Childhood

by DavalosMcCormack on July 1, 2008

When I was a kid I remember that the one gym class everyone dreaded was circuit training. It was as if it had been designed by sadists with small boys in mind. Get the kids to run around and use every single piece of equipment in the gym till every single muscle in their body ached with fatigue. Then send them back to class and expect them to survive double math before going home.

But now that I’m a little older – ok, quite a little bit older – and don’t have the dreaded double math class hanging over me I’m starting to re-evaluate the idea of circuit training. I still don’t like it any more than I did then, but it’s a bloody good workout.

The idea is simple. Chose an exercise such as sit-ups or push-ups or arm curls using a free weight. Then do it for one minute, or as many as you can in one minute. That means if you are using weights choose ones that are not too heavy otherwise you’ll be banjaxed before the minute is half-way done. Then, when the minute is up, move to another exercise, one that works a different group of muscles, and do that for a minute.

Keep repeating this until you’ve gone through about 15 – 20 different exercises, or as many as you can safely manage. By that time you’ll be huffin and puffin and your body will be suitably beat up. But in a good way.

The beauty of circuit training, if you can use that term to describe it, is that it packs in an awful lot of exercise into a relatively short time. It works out a wide range of muscles, in a wide variety of ways, and because you are moving quickly from one exercise to the next the accumulative effect is aerobic as well as strength building.

One other advantage to circuit training is that if your gym is busy when you are there it means you don’t have to wait around for a piece of equipment to be free. If someone is using the equipment or weights you wanted to use just then, move on to something else and come back to that later. Or not at all. You can design a circuit for yourself ahead of time, or just go with what happens to be free and available.

By moving quickly from one exercise to another you’ll never get bored. You might even discover a new exercise you really like and you can incorporate that into your regular workout.

Circuit training isn’t an everyday activity. You could do it once a week or once a month, just to add something new into the mix. Or you might discover you really do like it and do it more often, changing up the order and the variety of the exercises so it’s never the same twice.

Sometimes getting back to your childhood doesn’t have to be laden with Freudian meaning. It might just be a good way to work up a sweat. Though I’m sure Sigmund would have something to say about that as well.

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