Is circuit training appropriate for anyone?

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Circuit training is a series of exercises done in a predesigned sequence. It's best for improving strength and muscular endurance.

The sequence is being repeated in multiple rounds. When done right it's goal is to provide a total body workout with minimal rest time.

Circuit training can be customized to meet any specific sport conditioning, and has the potential to burn more calories than conventional aerobic exercise or strength training, both during and post-workout, thus beneficial for those attempting to lose body fat.

However if the goal is to increase muscle bulk and hypertrophy, circuit training may not be the solution. To build the bulk tissue you need to apply the principle of overload, followed by proper rest period.

There are some instances where strength training is perfectly fine in a cyclist’s program. Like any other effective training program, there must be progressive overload to a specific energy system or muscle group with proper rest to see improvements. In circuit training – where you compromise some strength for cardiovascular activity and some cardiovascular activity for strength – you really don’t get the overload on one particular system or muscle you’re working on. Sometimes, you have to do the ‘less interesting’ stuff with some appropriate weights and longer recovery periods to reach your goals. There is a caveat here, if you travel often and don’t always have access to your bike, doing some cross-training in the gym is not a bad idea for staying fit. It’s better than riding only on the weekends and then sitting in meetings, hotel rooms, and airplanes all week. The big thing here, folks, is that strength training alone won’t get you better on the bike. For the endurance athlete, it should be used for overall fitness and strengthening, during time constraints, or to get you back on the bike faster after an injury. As you can see, some strength training has its benefits at certain times in an endurance athlete’s life, but it’s not going to make or break you – it’s merely a good supplement to keep you healthy and on the bike.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.