Circuit Training and Exercise Drills - Variables in circuit training

Several variables in circuit training must be considered. These include the time, number of stations, number of time, number of stations, number of soldiers, number of times the circuit is completed, and sequence of stations. These are discussed below.

One of the first things to consider is how long it should take to complete the circuit. When a fixed circuit is run, the time at each station should always be the same to avoid confusion and help maintain control. Consider also the time it takes to move from one station to the next. Further, allow from five to seven minutes both before and after running a circuit for warming up and cooling down, respectively.

Number of Stations
The objective of the circuit and time and equipment available strongly influence the number of stations. A circuit geared for a limited objective (for example, developing lower-body strength) needs as few as six to eight stations. On the other hand, circuits to develop both strength and CR fitness may are as many as 20 stations.

Number of Soldiers
If there are 10 stations and 40 soldiers to be trained, the soldiers should be divided into 10 groups of four each. Each station must then be equipped to handle four soldiers. For example, in this instance a rope jumping station must have at least four jump ropes. It is vital in a free circuit that no soldier stand around waiting for equipment. Having enough equipment reduces bottlenecks, slowdowns, and poor results.

Number of Times a Circuit is Completed
To achieve the desired training effect, soldiers may have to repeat the same circuit several times. For example, a circuit may have ten stations. Soldiers
may run through the circuit three times, exercising for 30 seconds at each station, and taking 15 seconds to move between stations. The exercise time at each station may be reduced to 20 seconds the second and third time through. The whole workout takes less than 45 minutes including warm-up and cool-down. As soldiers become better conditioned, exercise periods may be increased to 30 seconds or longer for all three rotations. Another option is to have four rotations of the circuit.

Sequence of Stations
Stations should be arranged in a sequence that allows soldiers some recovery time after exercising at strenuous stations. Difficult exercises can be alternated with less difficult ones. After the warm-up, soldiers can start a circuit at any station and still achieve the objective by completing the full circuit.