Understanding Circuit/Boot Camp Workouts
COUNT DOWNS and/or UPS
Exercises are performed with the number of reps to perform either descending and/or ascending each time the sequence is repeated. An example, a countdown workout might have eight exercises performed for six rounds starting with 12 reps decreasing by two reps each round, listed as “12-10-8-6-4-2.” A count-up is just the opposite: six rounds with reps at two, four, six, eight, 10, and 12 each round. A combination countdown and count-up example would 25 down to 10 and back to 25, noted as 25-20-15-10-15-20-25. It would be seven rounds from 25 reps descending by five each round down to 10 reps, then back to 25 reps ascending by five each round.
Varied count downs, ups, and combination ups and downs mean that one or more exercise is performed for a different rep count from the one listed in the heading. That is, a count-up such as 4-8-12-16-20-24- 28 is the main rep count for a seven-round prescription, except one or more might have a different seven-round scheme such as 12-24-36-48-60-72-84.
Progression when using count downs and/or ups
Decrease the amount of time completing the entire workout count scheme.
A menu of various exercises performed for a set number of reps or amount of time, then repeating the order for as many “rounds” possible in the prescribed time frame.
Progression when using rounds
- Perform more rounds in the prescribed time, or
- Perform more exercises into the next round before the prescribed time limit is reached.
A series of exercises performed continuously for a specific amount of time (stations) followed by a set rest time between each. The goal is to go all-out in the allotted station time – rest for the prescribed time – then move through the stations repeating the prescribed work-rest times.
Progression when using stations
Perform more reps within the station work time while maintaining the designated between-station rest time.
Another menu of exercises with the goal of completing the entire workout in the least amount of time and/or accumulating maximum reps in a specific amount of time within the entire workout (with safe and proper exercise technique, of course).
Progression when using Time Challenges
Decrease the amount of time to complete the entire workout and accumulate more reps in an allotted period time where prescribed.