T Nation

Circuitworks Training?

My girl just tried this new place here in L.A. I went to their website to check it out. The following is part of their Mission Statement:

Our classes switch from an Aerobic Cardiovascular exercise to an Anaerobic Resistance exercise every 60 Seconds, keeping the body from choosing the energy expenditure system it?s going to use.

This forces the body into a state of confusion, that we call the Zig Zag Theory. This activity of switching back and forth from an aerobic cardiovascular system to an anaerobic system is what increases the fat expenditure of the body by more than 500%.

No other program out there today goes from an aerobic activity to an anaerobic activity, back and forth every 60 seconds or less.

Has anyone ever heard of this “Zig Zag Theory”? I’m dubious of these claims but my girl wants to know if any of this is legit training science or just fluff. Comments? Thanks.

Sounds like normal circuit work to me. I remember Dan John used to describe workouts that consisted of, say:

15 overhead squats
Run 400 meters
Repeat x3 (or x4, or whatever)

Maybe it’s something similar, though much (much) less intense. Workouts like that are a staple of Crossfit.

The 500% increase in fat burning sounds like bullshit, though. In any case, I look at most commercial gym classes with skepticism since the attendees are not particularly motivated and the trainers rarely know their stuff. It depends on the gym, of course, but I’m sure you’ll be able to tell yourself if you look in on one of their classes.

Sounds similar to Crossfit.

Speaking of Crossfit, I know a few people who swear by it that are jacked. I also know a few that look like 86 year old women. The difference between the two is that the guys with intensity get something out of it while the others who go through the motions and don’t get from one exercise to the other just seem to remain in the exact same physical condition.

Training hard with Crossfit or Crossfit-like programs can really burn fat. I’m an FFB (minus 55 lbs) because of training in a similar way.

There is no such thing as a zig-zag theory. This is the standard protocol for INTERVAL TRAINING, which has probably celebrated a decade already. You have an intense anaerobic bout and then switch to a less demanding aerobic rhythm to regain strength for the next intense one.

The protocol obviously works, but the terms they used are retarded and energy systems ‘confusion’ has nothing to do with it. It works because the aerobic portions allow for only partial recovery and so each of the intense bouts becomes more difficult, draining much more energy and recruiting much more muscle than standard cardio.

So my point is that although the class may be ok, their claims have originated in their dis-respective asses. If it works for her - great.

[quote]Majin wrote:
There is no such thing as a zig-zag theory. This is the standard protocol for INTERVAL TRAINING, which has probably celebrated a decade already. You have an intense anaerobic bout and then switch to a less demanding aerobic rhythm to regain strength for the next intense one.

The protocol obviously works, but the terms they used are retarded and energy systems ‘confusion’ has nothing to do with it. It works because the aerobic portions allow for only partial recovery and so each of the intense bouts becomes more difficult, draining much more energy and recruiting much more muscle than standard cardio.

So my point is that although the class may be ok, their claims have originated in their dis-respective asses. If it works for her - great.[/quote]

I agree. This just seems like a lot of fancy double speak for what appears to be interval training. Just like crossfit or any other branded program, the creators took a basic (and old) training concept, repackaged it for the masses and gave it a catchy name. T-shirts will be available soon…