I’ve been working in this fitness ‘industry’ for coming up 20 years now and i’ve seen fitness fads come and go (many tbh) but nothing and i do mean nothing compares to circuit training when it comes to increasing general (by that i mean non specific) work capacity and physical resilience. Circuits can come in so many different formats and you can scale them up to some serious fitness levels, pro athletes, military elites and the toughest of fitness fanatics will all be humbled by a suitably nasty circuit session. Over the years i’ve seen first hand how by repeatedly pushing yourself past what you think you are capable of you will not only improve your physical fitness but your mindset as well. There is something about having to dig down when it gets shitty and give yourself a talking to in order to carry on. It builds that never give up type of grit that regular training simply doesn’t. It’s not for everyone but we feel for those that are looking to work on themselves it is a great session.
We run the sessions on a Sunday morning at 9.00am – they last around an hour (times vary) and we’d expect you to be regularly training before starting this kind of session. It’s not that you couldn’t do it if you were new, just that the main 40RTY sessions are very likely to already push you, or at least have the capacity to do so.
Today’s Resilience Circuits session would also suit those looking to train for something like a Hyrox event. We did:
50 x Squat jacks
40 x Mountain climbers (each leg)
30 x Lunge jumps (weighted each leg)
20 x Broad jump burpees
10 x Squat + Press
Repeat the above again BUT each set you drop the top exercise.
SO, 2nd set you just do the Mountain Climbers down, 3rd set Lunge jumps down etc until you finish with just the squat + press. The goal is to complete as much as you can in an hour. You also do not need to run the 1km each time – we have a minimum of 2 laps of the building – around 700m if you stick to the edges of the industrial park.
A key thing that we pushed to the guys today was that the idea is to go heavy on the weights. Actually, its to go too heavy to complete the reps in 1 set. The reason for the heavy sets is to add fatigue to the circuit – this makes the run much harder. We can’t stress how important this part is – too often though people choose weights that are low. This can happen for a number for reasons from peoples ego to simply under estimating what they are capable of.
As a guide we’d say you should be looking at 3 sets minimum to get the lunge jumps out and 2 sets minimum to get the squat and press, any less and its not heavy enough. Today it was taking me around 4 sets to complete the lunge jumps and 2 to do the Squat and press – i could probably have gone a little heavier on the squat and press so it took me 3 sets. Like i said, the goal is to effectively ‘fail’ at the exercise – if you can do it in less sets you are not testing yourself enough – check the ego and get to work 🙂
I design these sessions to be very demanding for not just the participants but for me as well. Its the inclusion of the run/s that does it for me. As much as the circuit is tough i’d be able to do more if it wasn’t for the run in between sets, BUT that’s the point. It is this acceptance that i’m not great at this stuff that forces me to check my ego (not the easiest for me sometimes!) and just focus on pushing myself. If you are doing these sessions please keep that in mind – aim to focus on the parts you are WEAKEST at. If you are a strong runner then great, work on pushing both the speed of the run AND more importantly the weights in the circuit. It’s what it takes to see real changes, things really grow or improve in the comfort zone!
I’ve included some of the data from today’s session – was hard – feel good now but was a tough one for me personally today.
SO if you fancy giving this a try we’ll see you next Sunday at 9.00am 🙂