In this third and final blog in the series on the shape of circuits I want to go through some ideas on Advanced Circuits. So if you have exercised with resistances for a few years consistently and don’t like the idea of exercising with a large group of people such as in Cross Fit classes but want to challenge yourself, here are ideas you need to consider…
If you are a sports person you should spend some time studying your game to analyze the types of movement that are common to it. In quite a few sports, different positions have different movement patterns. An obvious example is a goalie in sports that use one as compared with all other positions on the field. Another one would be Linemen in American Football as compared with a Wide Receiver for instance.
Your analysis does not need to be comprehensive, but you should have a look at a few games trying to concentrate on a single position for as long as you can. You need to see what is going on off the ball, not just while someone has possession of it. (I am only using examples of team sports here, because individual sports have obvious movement patterns?)
Once you have decided as to what you need, then choose the exercises that best mimic the patterns within your sport (or even if you are not a sports person, look to using more functional movements within your circuit). This idea is why Cross Fit (or Raw Fit) and the many different versions of these two training regimens are so population – the functionality of the routines? (The main reason I do not like these regimes is they compromise correct technique for volume.)
So use functional exercises are such as the photo above shows – is the ‘catch’ in a Power Clean or Power Clean from the Hang. Such an exercise develops Power (speed times strength) and a certain amount of agility. These exercises though, need work on correcting the technique to get the most out of them, so easier exercises are One Arm Dumbbell Snatch or Clean – which also show as to whether there is any imbalance between the left and right-hand sides of the body?
Other exercises that you may choose may involve multidimensional movements? I have covered this idea on previous blogs and will not further develop the idea here.
With Advanced Circuits you should be using these types of exercises though and if you have the use of an Olympic Bar the better (but not necessary). The best type of strength exercises to use, work the whole body – such as the Deadlift or One Arm Dumbbell Press on a Swiss Ball or Bent Over Row to name three that concentrate on one body part, but need the strength of the whole body to execute properly.
Secondly, you don’t need to use a lot of these exercises. You could have a circuit containing five exercises, but circuit through it five to six times. As long as it is a highly intense routine that exercises the body in different dimensions. You should also keep the routine to within 35 minutes, such as the other circuits that I have already described – even better if you can complete it within 30 minutes! It is a circuit, so you don’t need heavy resistances, just develop the intensity by using the balance of the type of exercise you use and the the rest periods between exercises. Last word of advice – don’t use high repetitions to gain this intensity, so keep them between 5 – 12.