Programming Better Circuit Training

CPT SMASH shares some of his insight on how circuit training could be improved upon to provide an optimal level of training stimulation and intensity for varied populations.

Here at the Lab we focus a lot on semi-private training for select groups of individual.  We enjoy having groups train together because of the energy and close personal bonds that those trainees form, but also believe that there is a limit to the amount of people that need to trained together and should have close goal sets in order to provide the best training environment possible.  That's why we only train a maximum of only four people at a time to keep the group intensity and focus entirely to their level.

Now, circuit training is fairly popular in fitness nowadays.  Big box gyms specialize on large group sizes in order to increase their numbers and get people in shape for a relative cheap price, but in my opinion it's more of a money grab than anything else.  How effective is it to the client going into a class of twenty or thirty people that have different ability levels, ages, training statuses and previous injuries?  It's really not.

That's always been my problem with group classes.  They're hard to manage and get everyone on the same page, unless you downgrade the workout to the lowest ability level in the class.  That's counterproductive for those who have a good deal of fitness ability and doesn't really push the newbies to their full potential either.  Not to mention the fact that a coach can only train what he's able to see and manipulate.

Ever try to correct improper squat technique on twenty people all at the same time?  If you have you know that's a difficult chore.

What about people with injuries?  Can you triage those people into select groups and give them another exercise or do they just have to sit this one out because they can't do it?  You can if you manage your programming correctly.

In this fairly lengthy video I discuss some options that may serve to help make training more effective in a large or medium size group class to help people get a better quality workout without sacrificing the time, while increasing the amount of strength, power, and muscular endurance/hypertrophy that can't be attained without certain metrics within a training program.

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Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.