Been a long time since I’ve posted here. Many of you know my job as a personal trainer requires I keep close to fitness and it’s trends and discoveries. One site I read a great deal posted this excerpt from a publication in 1974. It brings up the very interesting point that the fads (such as Cross—) of today aren’t new and aren’t in fact fads but have been around for a long time.
Circuit Training – originally designed for group participation and best suited for that purpose. If there are fixed stations, encompassing weights, gymnastic equipment, etc., in a gymnasium, club, fieldhouse or on an athletic field, an individual can complete a circuit by himself. Circuits can be designed specifically to either develop isotonic strength (concentric and eccentric), isometric strength, strength or speed dominated power, muscular endurance, strength endurance or circulo-respiratory endurance, but not all of the qualities simultaneously. If designed for strength, strength or speed dominated power, or strength endurance, it is a highly strenuous and extremely fatiguing activity not suited for use by beginners or athletes in poor or fair physical condition. When designed specifically for one individual the principle of progressive overload must be considered, along with the specific requirements of the particular athlete and the activity for which he is training.
It has long been maintained that weight lifting and weight training will develop strength and muscular endurance, but not circulo-respiratory endurance. This was believed because only a few repetitions were completed with heavy weights and the heart rate was not raised to a high level for a sufficiently long period of time to create an effect on the circulo-respiratory system.
Research by Karvonen in 1959 reflected that in any type of weight training activity, the pulse rate was increased by less than 60 percent of the range available by running, no training effect on the heart was observed. From this research, Adamson, the originator of circuit training, found in his experimentation that in the use of weight training with less loads and slightly more repetitions, manipulated isotonically, the pulse rate was raised to the near maximum rate attained by all-out treadmill running. He suggested that it would be possible to arrange weight training programs alone, so as to achieve both strengthening and general endurance (circulo-respiratory) effects.
In 1968 (Pat) O’Shea developed a system that he designated “aerobic” weight training. He commented that it was based on the two principles developed by Cooper relative to aerobic training and the development of circulo-respiratory endurance:
(a) If the exercise develops a heart rate of 150 beats per minute or higher, the development effects begin five minutes after the activity starts and continues as long as the activity is performed
(b) If the activity does not develop a sustained heart rate of 150 beats per minute, the activity must be continued considerably longer than five minutes, such as long distance running, cycling, etc.
O’Shea’s system is based on a circuit interval training approach, with progressive increases in the amount of resistance used in the exercises … his research reflected that students participating in the program reached a sustained rate of 154 beats per minute for 20 minutes, and the group registered significant improvement in cardio-vascular fitness over an eight-week period.
Several years ago the writer designed a group of weight training routines to develop circulo-respiratory endurance in Olympic weight lifters. The interval training principle was employed, using weights in the 10-30 percent range of maximum with a progressive increase in repetitions (20 to 40) on each exercise for two sets and with varying rest periods of one to three minutes between sets and exercises.
Ten exercises at one station composed a routine. The exercises used were Olympic lift skill movements (press, snatch, clean and jerk) and explosive weight training assistance movements (jumping squats, etc.) interspersed with one stationary running exercise. It took 35 to 45 minutes to complete the entire routine.
Pulse rates during a routine ranged from 122 to 185 during the entire period which is in the pulse range recommended by Gerschler for use with interval training programs for runners. The routines developed physiological aspects of both aerobic and anaerobic endurance.
The preceding paragraphs are excerpted from John Jesse’s remarkable book titled “Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, published by The Athletic Press, Pasadena, CA, in 1974.