Are you looking to spice up your PE lessons? Do you see some of your students standing around with the “What do I do now?” look on their face? If you answered yes to these questions, then circuit training is right for you.
What exactly is circuit training?
- “An intensive form of fitness training in which a group of exercises are completed one after the other. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a prescribed time before you move on to the next exercise.” (Oxford Food and Fitness Dictionary)
What are the benefits of circuit or TABATA training?
- Develop overall body strength and aerobic fitness
- Enables you to have many different activities going on concurrently
- Allows all students to work at their own levels
- Allows all students to achieve success
- Students get a lot done in a little amount of time with a lot of people
- Eliminate any standing around and looking around
Here are some tips:
- Circuit training usually works best if they are set up along the perimeter of the available space which will help with the rotation
- Choose activities or skills students have previously worked on or that is done regularly
- Set up stations prior to class arrival
- Divide students evenly between stations
- Ensure that there is enough circuit training equipment for everyone in each station
- Place signs with words and pictures of each activity for each station
- Demonstrate the activities at each station prior to students starting
- Play upbeat music to keep students engaged
- Have fun
Students will start the activity at their station upon a signal from the teacher. The teacher could either say the word go, blow a whistle, or start music. After 30 – 60 seconds of performing the exercise at their station, teacher signals for students to rotate to next station. Continue this format until students have completed all the stations within the circuit.
To make the station a bit more challenging students can write down the number of completed reps of each exercise on an index card. The next time they do the circuit they will try to beat their previous score.
Anyone can develop a circuit. It takes a little bit of time, a little bit of space, and a little bit of equipment. Circuit training is something your students can do at home with family and friends. They will learn skills that will help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, they will have fun!
Circuit training example #1 – without equipment
- Mountain climbers
- Curl ups
- Jumping jacks
- Push ups
- Jog in place
- Triceps dips
- Side to side ski jumps
Circuit training example #2 – with equipment