A Case for and Against Circuit Training

Hello all,

Recently I was reading another good article from strength coach extradinaire Mike Boyle about the pros and cons of circiut training.

In his oft opinionated way, he found that for beginners, circiut training was not beneficial. His belief is that these athletes need to focus more on technique and thus a more " hands on" coaching style was needed much more often.

More experienced athletes, however was a different story.

He believes that in a large group or team setting the athletes push themselves harder and funny enough they get much stronger. The reason being was that the growth hormone production from this type of training went through the roof. As a result, strength gains were huge.

His protocol consisted of 60% of 1RM in reps of 10 for 10 exercises that hit lower body push, upper body pull and push movements along with some core work.

However, he did not include any power work at all like Olypmic lifts. The reason for this was because he thought technique on these lifts would be compromised due to fatigue.

Good point.

My thoughts:

I have used circuit training a lot in the past especially with small (4-6), large (10+) and teams. I have used them with young beginners and more experienced athletes.

I have to admit athletes love them and to be honest I find it easy to monitor them because they are always working.

Where I disagree with Mike is in the circiut training for beginners. I believe you can successfully write up a circiut program that is geared for them. Such as more mobility, core and body weight strength and endurance exercises.

Kids at that age can and did get great benefits from this type of workout.

What I did was either do timed circiuts 20-30 sec.depending on exercise rest same amount of time and then do another exercise. We either did it as a group or I put groups of 3-4 together and had them go the timed circuits or rep based circiuts.

Looking back it well. And yes, just recently I implemented some in for 2 13 yr. old athletes and they loved it.

Your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, Andy

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