It’s no secret why circuit training has been successful as a business opportunity: it works! Circuit training is a proven exercise system that, for many women, has proven to be more effective than diet and nutrition programs alone.
The routine at circuit training health clubs is quick and simple, allowing each woman to progress at her own pace. The ladies exercise in a circle, each at a station. They spend 30 or 45 seconds at each station, either working a hydraulic resistance machine or doing aerobics. The entire routine takes just 30 minutes.
Sufficient anecdotal evidence exists to prove that circuit training can help women achieve fast weight loss. But how about the training technology behind the workout? Does the equipment in this type of gym provide true weight loss exercise, or is it just another fad?
To completely understand fitness and exercise equipment it’s important to comprehend the four different technologies of that equipment:
1) Constant Resistance Devices
2) Variable Resistance Devices
3) Static Resistance Devices
4) Accommodating Resistance Devices
Constant Resistance Devices:
“The term constant resistance means that a weight (resistance) does not increase or decrease during the course of exercise” (source: International Sports Sciences Association; 2001). The amount of resistance encountered by the user remains unchanged from the beginning of the exercise movement to the end.
Examples of training or weight lifting with constant resistance devices would be lifting a barbell, dumbbell, or using a cabled weight stack. Weight training in this manner has some inherent disadvantages. First of all, constant resistance weight lifting exercise does not correct for changes in the musculoskeletal leverage that occurs during an exercise movement. Secondly, this method does not account for reduced effort that comes with fatigue.
When following a weight lifting routine with constant resistance devices, the user experiences changes in leverage during the joint movement. For example, when doing dumbbell curls the amount of muscular force required is much greater at the bottom of the movement (when the dumbbells are at waist level) than it is at the top of the movement (when the dumbbells are near the chin). As the dumbbells approach the top of the movement, leverage improves and the user doesn’t have to work as hard.
Therefore, the user doesn’t gain as much benefit during the ‘easy’ portion of the movement. Muscles need stress to gain strength and endurance, so with the relatively diminished stress of constant resistance devices some of the benefit is gone.
Some experts argue that constant resistance exercise is more natural than any other weight lifting program because leverage imbalances match the actual day-to-day movement of the body.
Variable Resistance Devices:
“When you hoist a weight by pulling on a cable that goes over the top of a pulley and is attached to a weight, you’re engaged in constant resistance training” (source: International Sports Sciences Association; 2001). Some exercise equipment manufacturers have experimented with pulleys that aren’t round or don’t have the hole in the exact middle of the pulley, resulting in … Read More