Cir­cuit Train­ing

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - DEPARTMENT -

Atthe end of a long and busy race sea­son, your body needs a break from your reg­u­lar train­ing rou­tine. That doesn’t mean you need to, or should, stop ev­ery­thing. Be­ing ac­tive can be fun and, just be­cause the race sea­son is over, doesn’t mean you can’t get out and en­joy the ben­e­fits ex­er­cise can pro­vide.

I typ­i­cally try to get my ath­letes to take a few weeks of do­ing “what you like, when you like.” The goal is sim­ply to en­joy some time away from a struc­tured pro­gram. Some ath­letes might like to take a much longer break, which is more than fine, too.

One thing I do try to en­cour­age, though, es­pe­cially for masters ath­letes, is some strength train­ing. That said, the last thing I want them to do is hit a weight room on a reg­u­lar ba­sis for mon­ster work­outs. This is where cir­cuit train­ing comes in. I got my first in­tro­duc­tion to cir­cuit train­ing in a drafty gym at Rugby School in Eng­land (yes, where C. Webb El­lis first picked up the ball and ran). The cir­cuits we did there con­sisted of body-weight ex­er­cises, and I’m still a fan of that type of train­ing, es­pe­cially in the fall. Here’s a sug­gested cir­cuit for you to do. The idea is to fly through the ex­er­cises in rapid suc­ces­sion – you can ei­ther do them for a spe­cific time (I like 30 to 40 sec­onds of each ex­er­cise with 10 sec­onds rest) or a cer­tain num­ber of reps – say, 10. The cir­cuit shouldn’t take longer than 10 or 15 min­utes.

You can mod­ify the ex­er­cises, too, to make them a bit more chal­leng­ing as you get fur­ther into the fall. Keep­ing your el­bows close to your body while do­ing push ups will force you to uti­lize your tri­ceps a bit more. You can also add an ex­er­cise ball and some ad­di­tional ex­er­cises on that to pro­vide a bit more va­ri­ety, too.

Cir­cuit train­ing is a great way to main­tain over­all body strength even when you’re tak­ing some time from your reg­u­lar train­ing rou­tine. You’ll find it’ll be a bit eas­ier to get back into the swing of things if you’ve main­tained a bit of over­all strength, and these work­outs can also serve as a nice build into a more ex­ten­sive strength pro­gram as you start ramp­ing things up in the win­ter months.—KM

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