T Nation

Circuit Training

I just recently received my training packet for my winter break conditioning program for football. It is basically all circuit training and with that being said I have never circuit trained in my life to this degree and was just wondering how successful for others has it been? What changes did you notice? Also one other question for the compound lifts in the packet what percentage of my max should I use if every set is 15 reps or is that something I am going to need to play around with to figure out for myself?

For football, circuit training with sets of 15 on the main lifts is a completely garbage program.

I would highly suggest you use a program written by a credible author that is designed for football players, not soccer moms.

Its more geared toward active recovery I trust the guy who wrote it I mean he has his cscs and is a pro strongman hes been around the block more than I have and even to me Im leery of it just because its something I personally wouldn’t suggest but with that being said Im going to have some blind faith.

Active recovery for your entire winter break? Is because the season just ended? And how long is the break?

When I played in high school, we always had 1 full week of absolutely nothing right after the season ended, and then we jumped back into it “full steam ahead”.

If the goal is to just get you guys moving around but not killing yourselves for a couple weeks, then I understand and that is probably a good idea if the season just ended.

I was thinking that this was going to be the program you follow to start preparing for the next season.

No no the program is a lead into real winter conditioning and workouts the season ended about 2 weeks ago we went relatively far into the playoffs. The winter break is about a month I do believe. I was reading the intro to the workout he wrote a whole theory or purpose behind it and a lot of it was to prepare for winter conditioning and increase aerobic endurance and lower rest times.

[quote]minman50 wrote:
No no the program is a lead into real winter conditioning and workouts the season ended about 2 weeks ago we went relatively far into the playoffs. The winter break is about a month I do believe. I was reading the intro to the workout he wrote a whole theory or purpose behind it and a lot of it was to prepare for winter conditioning and increase aerobic endurance and lower rest times.[/quote]

Generally speaking pro strongmen have a handle on what you need to do to be strong and also have conditioning :).

That said, as a lead-into a real program it makes some sense…light weight work is a lot less taxing on tendons and joints that have already been stressed by a million tackles, pile-ups, blocks and so forth for a collegiate season than heavy maximal lifting is. If it’s only for a couple weeks it’s a pretty decent idea.

So what is the program? Can you write out a sample day or something and then maybe your question could be answered a bit more detailed

In general I can say that changes you will notice–after acclimating to this training style–are better lactic acid clearance rates and less need for rest periods between lower rep work. In other words, if you generally needed 2-3 minutes for heavy work in the 6 rep range, after circuit training you may feel recovered in significantly less time during low rep work, thus able to push the pace a bit and maintain performance.

I will also say that generally speaking the %s used are up to being messed around a bit with. I’d start at about 55-60% 1 RM and adjust from there. The goal would be to make the first time through the circuit with a little gas left in the tank in terms of reps, because the next few times will build up a lot of lactic acid and fatigue.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]minman50 wrote:
No no the program is a lead into real winter conditioning and workouts the season ended about 2 weeks ago we went relatively far into the playoffs. The winter break is about a month I do believe. I was reading the intro to the workout he wrote a whole theory or purpose behind it and a lot of it was to prepare for winter conditioning and increase aerobic endurance and lower rest times.[/quote]

Generally speaking pro strongmen have a handle on what you need to do to be strong and also have conditioning :).

That said, as a lead-into a real program it makes some sense…light weight work is a lot less taxing on tendons and joints that have already been stressed by a million tackles, pile-ups, blocks and so forth for a collegiate season than heavy maximal lifting is. If it’s only for a couple weeks it’s a pretty decent idea.

So what is the program? Can you write out a sample day or something and then maybe your question could be answered a bit more detailed

In general I can say that changes you will notice–after acclimating to this training style–are better lactic acid clearance rates and less need for rest periods between lower rep work. In other words, if you generally needed 2-3 minutes for heavy work in the 6 rep range, after circuit training you may feel recovered in significantly less time during low rep work, thus able to push the pace a bit and maintain performance.

I will also say that generally speaking the %s used are up to being messed around a bit with. I’d start at about 55-60% 1 RM and adjust from there. The goal would be to make the first time through the circuit with a little gas left in the tank in terms of reps, because the next few times will build up a lot of lactic acid and fatigue. [/quote]

Thanks for all the help and the first day workout I did yesterday was
squat, bentover barbell row, db stepups, lat pulldown, seated military press, back extensions, lateral raises, lat pulldown, weighted crunch, single leg glute bridge, skullcrushers.

Now one more question do you think it would be ok to throw in some strength work as well as the circuits?

[quote]minman50 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]minman50 wrote:
No no the program is a lead into real winter conditioning and workouts the season ended about 2 weeks ago we went relatively far into the playoffs. The winter break is about a month I do believe. I was reading the intro to the workout he wrote a whole theory or purpose behind it and a lot of it was to prepare for winter conditioning and increase aerobic endurance and lower rest times.[/quote]

Generally speaking pro strongmen have a handle on what you need to do to be strong and also have conditioning :).

That said, as a lead-into a real program it makes some sense…light weight work is a lot less taxing on tendons and joints that have already been stressed by a million tackles, pile-ups, blocks and so forth for a collegiate season than heavy maximal lifting is. If it’s only for a couple weeks it’s a pretty decent idea.

So what is the program? Can you write out a sample day or something and then maybe your question could be answered a bit more detailed

In general I can say that changes you will notice–after acclimating to this training style–are better lactic acid clearance rates and less need for rest periods between lower rep work. In other words, if you generally needed 2-3 minutes for heavy work in the 6 rep range, after circuit training you may feel recovered in significantly less time during low rep work, thus able to push the pace a bit and maintain performance.

I will also say that generally speaking the %s used are up to being messed around a bit with. I’d start at about 55-60% 1 RM and adjust from there. The goal would be to make the first time through the circuit with a little gas left in the tank in terms of reps, because the next few times will build up a lot of lactic acid and fatigue. [/quote]

Thanks for all the help and the first day workout I did yesterday was
squat, bentover barbell row, db stepups, lat pulldown, seated military press, back extensions, lateral raises, lat pulldown, weighted crunch, single leg glute bridge, skullcrushers.

Now one more question do you think it would be ok to throw in some strength work as well as the circuits?
[/quote]

Depends on a variety of variables…how often you are supposed to do circuit training, how draining it is for you, if you have joint pains or tendon aches from the season–nagging physical problems from wesr and tear.

In general, I would 1st push the weight up on your circuit exercises. It is supposed to be difficult to finish all the circuits, but also you are supposed to keep good form and depth. After pushing those weights up, if you have any gas left in the tank you could take ONE exercise and hit a heavy 5 or 3 rep set taking plenty of rest intervals. Remember, the goal of the circuit is not strength, so dont lose sight of the goal by trying to hammer heavy weights. Just hit a good conservative 3 on one exercise and call it. Rotate that exercise from day to day. You could also do the heavy set before the circuit, but that might tempt you to really put all your energy into it and not focus on your written program. Keep in mind it takes approximately 2 weeks to start losing strength from the last heavy workout, so you really don’t need to do much to maintain strength for a couple weeks while you are doing the light circuits, just hit one good set and call it.

Im in good health surprisingly no terrible injuries or what have you. Im supposed to do the circuit 3 days a week both workouts are full body.

Also I’m going to put my workout packet first, not trying to rock the boat too much, just need to satisfy the urge to pick up and put down heavy things in a while. I was thinking of just taking 3 or 4 compound lifts and fitting them in where I can if I feel able.

[quote]minman50 wrote:
Im in good health surprisingly no terrible injuries or what have you. Im supposed to do the circuit 3 days a week both workouts are full body.

Also I’m going to put my workout packet first, not trying to rock the boat too much, just need to satisfy the urge to pick up and put down heavy things in a while. I was thinking of just taking 3 or 4 compound lifts and fitting them in where I can if I feel able. [/quote]

No I totally feel ya, I just know myself personally I have a really hard time holding back on the heavy shit and I would totally ruin my ability to do a good circuit by pushing myself to the limit hahaha.

If you’re only doing the circuit 3x a week, why not do two compounds on each day? like squat/bench, dead/overhead press, clean/row. Plenty of rest between sets, low volume ramp up to some heavy weight?

Remember, you only need 1 heavy workout on a lift in about 14 days to maintain the maximal strength you’ve built. So really just doing a couple heavy sets on a lift will keep you up there. Obviously I don’t like limiting the heavy lifting to only 1x a week on each lift, and neither do you, but this is supposed to be a break anyways lol.