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Circuit Training

Published in the December 2010 Issue Published online: Dec 16, 2010 Sledheads Irina Adams
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Imagine: it's a beautiful blue-bird day, you are linking some powder turns as your tunnel sinks deep into bottomless powder and you lose all forward momentum. All of us know that sinking feeling: you are stuck. Stepping off the sled, you find yourself chest deep in the white stuff. You begin to struggle with what minutes ago felt like a feather light sled, but now weighs a ton. At this point a lot of people would say that there is nothing you can do in the gym to condition someone for that type of activity. Those people have not experienced Circuit Training.

Circuit training is a form of sports training that involves performing different exercises in rotation. The concept is to go through a list of different exercises with as little rest as possible between sets, then repeat this list several times, making an aerobic workout of endurance type weight lifting. There are literally thousands of potential circuit training exercises that can be used to develop a suitable routine. Additionally, many exercises require little or no expensive equipment. Training can be performed with nothing more than a mat and a set of dumbbells. The routines can be customized and altered depending on your goals; you can design one that is sport-specific. Below is an example of a simple circuit; you could get more detailed circuit routines or perform a different circuit each day, but the idea of the circuit is to be simple. If you need to focus on a specific body part, one that might be lacking, you only need to put or substitute another exercise for that body part into the circuit.

Start with a light warm-up of about ten minutes. You can stretch, jog, or fast walk on the spot or treadmill. Beginners should take a 30- to 45-second rest after each exercise and a 3- to 5-minute rest after each circuit. Intermediate exercisers should not rest after each exercise but can rest 3 minutes after each circuit, while advanced exercisers should not rest until they have completed at least 2 circuits. Good luck!

Squat Jumps: 10 to 15 repetitions
Standard Push-ups: 10 to 15 repetitions
Calf Raises: 15 to 20 repetitions
Bench Dips: 10 to 15 repetitions
Abdominal Crunches: 15 to 20 repetitions
Jump Rope: 60 seconds
Squat Jumps: 10 to 15 repetitions
Standard Push-ups: 10 to 15 repetitions
Calf Raises: 15 to 20 repetitions
Bench Dips: 10 to 15 repetitions
Abdominal Crunches: 15 to 20 repetitions
Jump Rope: 60 seconds

Here are other exercises that could be substituted in this or other circuit training routines.

Tuck Jumps
Standing on the spot, jump up with both legs and tuck both knees in toward your chest.
Squat Thrusts
In a push-up position bring both knees in toward your chest and then explode out again so they are fully extended. Repeat in a smooth, rhythmical fashion.
Burpees
1. Start in a standing position and bend your knees and place your hands on the ground.
2. Extend your legs back into a push up position. Bring your knees back in towards your chest and stand back up.
3. This should be a continuous motion and be fluid.
Treadmills/Runners
Similar to squat thrusts, only alternate your feet. In the push-up position with legs extended, bring one knee into your chest and quickly switch to bring the other knee into your chest. The action should be a smooth running motion as your arms stay fixed.
High Knees
Running on the spot, pick your knees up to waist height and pump your arms.
Jumping Jacks
Start with your legs side by side and your arms by your side. In one motion jump and spread your legs out to the side while your arms rise out and up over your head. Land in this position and then return to the starting position and repeat.
Squat to Presses
Holding a relatively light dumbbell in each hand by your sides, squat down until your knees are bent just above 90 degrees. As you extend your legs push the dumbbells overhead and extend your arms fully. Lower the weights as you squat down again.
Rebounds/Ricochets
Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides. Keeping your feet together, jump forward a foot or so. Jump back to the starting position. Jump to your left, back to the start, then the right and then behind you. Repeat this sequence by keeping ground contact time minimal and feet together.

If you choose to ramp it up, increase the number of circuits. Further along, you could increase the step repetitions, the dumbbell exercise sets or even the dumbbell weight. Train hard and play hard! Have fun and see you in the mountains. Irina Adams Next Level Riding Clinics www.nextlevelclinics.com Before attempting any training program or arduous training consult your physician.