There are pros and cons to every workout and exercise in one’s fitness program. In order to continually challenge the body to achieve the desired health and fitness goals, you have to keep changing your training program and exercises. Two common but effective training modules are circuit training and station training. Applying either training modality to a current program can increase intensity or add necessary challenges to the body. RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU

Station training

Station training is probably the most common cardio and strength training program design. What defines this style of training is starting at one exercise and you do not move on to the next exercise until all reps and sets are completed. This is a methodical, controlled and structured approach to your workout program. However, you can create some variables to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout. The variables that can be adjusted are the number of reps and sets, rest time between sets, load or resistance level and tempo of repetition. For example: a hypertrophy application to this mode could entail 8-10 exercises, 4-5 sets per exercise, 8-10 reps per set, 45 second rest between sets, 75-85% of your 1RM for load and 4 second eccentric phase, 2 second isometric and 2 second concentric tempo of repetition. Again, incredibly methodical but highly effective to achieving your fitness and or performance goal.

Circuit training

Circuit training is like dough, highly malleable and adaptable, and usually based off the individual’s fitness and performance objectives and goals. Circuit training has practical benefits as well. If you are someone always strapped for time, this style is incredibly time efficient; if you want to complete a full body workout and cardio, this is the way to go. The only limitations in this program design are your health/fitness levels and lack of imagination. circuit or station training_2Regarding design of circuit training, the workout or training program has significantly more variety because you can involve more exercise variables. With circuit training, the number of circuits, number of exercises in the circuit, number of reps, number of sets, rest between sets, load or resistance level, and tempo of repetition are just a few of the different variables that can be adjusted. Focus of the workouts can be for example: full body; upper body; push/pull; lower body; posterior chain. If you adjust the rest time, the workout becomes high intensity circuit training.

So… circuit or station training?

At risk of being accused of sitting on the fence – mix both into your training program to perform your goals. A great way to incorporate both station training and circuit training is by mixing the designs into your routine. Depending on your health, fitness, or performance goals, circuit and station training can be mixed together for a workout, offset days, and/or every couple weeks. For example, by doing the same hypertrophy station training (second paragraph above), adding circuit training into the routine can aide in boosting the body’s metabolism and increase muscle strength. Overall, variety is crucial to continue achieving your fitness and performance goals. Station training and circuit training are excellent training designs to break through plateaus. Mixing both into your training program will definitely take you to the next level of performance and fitness. Connect with Expert John Monteleone.

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