The Fitness Zone
Circuit training is a great way for people to exercise, but as an instructor there are a few key points that we have to think about, says Shaun Radford, Fitness Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness in WA.
Circuit training offers variety, fun, a challenge, and motivation that come naturally from group environments. The number one component of creating a great circuit session is YOU! As the instructor it is your job to ensure that the circuit is safe, fun, and meets all clients' needs. And remember you can always progress an exercise to make it harder and more challenging, so its best to start with easier exercises and offer progressions when necessary.
Outlined below are some key points:
- Come prepared prepare your session in advance. Remember failure to plan is planning to fail.
- Have back up options for everything this is in case of those clients that struggle with exercises, or equipment being used by others.
- Have a floor plan an organised session will run smoothly and without a hitch.
- Be a superb communicator know how to communicate with your clients. You need to adapt to personality, motivational levels, and genders. You need to be able to communicate not only verbally, but also non-verbally through body language and gestures.
- SMILE our clients often come to us for a feeling of a successful experience. Make sure that you aim to end with a smile from your clients.
Some final tips:
- Think about the fitness level you will attract with your circuit. A weight loss' named circuit will probably attract beginner clients, where as a high intensity' or sports specific' circuit is likely to attract more advanced individuals. The exercises in your circuit should match the fitness levels and capabilities of your clients.
- Ensure that there is flow from one station to the next, that there are options for each exercise, and for most circuits, concurrent muscle groups are not being used one after the other.
- Remember your basic programming rules. These are still valid in these situations. Compound before isolated exercises. If there is a need to focus on isolation, you can do two separate circuits in the one session e.g. compound circuit then isolated circuit.
- Avoid postures that put the body under stress. Exercises involving prolonged forward flexion can put the lower back under undue stress in some clients, along with push-ups relating to a poked chin posture due to fatigue. Know how to regress on the spot.
- And last but not least, have fun! When we smile, and have fun it's contagious.
Get out there, have a plan. Enjoy the session and motivate your clients to future health!
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About Shaun Radford
Shaun is a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness in QLD, as well as a Presenter at fitness conferences. Having been in the fitness industry for over nine years, Shaun has also held positions as a Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer, and mentor.