Circuit training in Oxford
For many years, circuit training has been a staple part of winter training of the local rowing clubs. As a professional rowing coach, I have been running these circuit sessions for some time. Over the last few seasons, the sessions have been adapted to be suitable for any aspiring athlete and for anyone else seeking to have some regular group-based form of activity.
The weekly sessions are now attended by people with a broad range of interests. The rowers are still attending in numbers – although in the summer, many of them are out on the water in the evenings. Other athletes and attendees include students, parents (both with and without their children in tow), keep fit enthusiasts and a broad spectrum of people from other sports who find the circuits both suitable and beneficial for their own needs. The ages of attendees vary from around 15yrs to 65yrs.
The style of training is to follow a series of about 30 exercises (stations) in a circuit around a gym. The period of each exercise is short – of the order of one minute – before moving quickly onto the next station. By changing the focus of each successive station from one part of the body to another (arms, then legs, then tummy, then back etc), you can work much harder in bursts than you could sustain by any other consistent activity. Most stations may be done at different grades of complexity and intensity to allow people of varying abilities and fitnesses to do them effectively.
The winter schedule started at the beginning of October. We are running two sessions every Wednesday evening with a warm-ups at 5.30pm and 6.40pm. As we approach the final weeks of the winter training season, a final push has been introduced to the design of the Circuits, reducing the number of exercises but increasing the demands of intensity. There will be 25 exercise stations done twice (two circuits) with 50secs work and 10secs to change station, making almost 50mins of exercise in all. There is a stretch down after each session. I lead the one after the late session and one of the CORC Junior squad leaders supervises the earlier one. We disperse around 7pm or 8pm dependent on which session you attend.
The Saints Mary and John Primary School is based on Meadow Lane OX4 1TJ (not the Hertford St campus). Access by car is via Bedford St. Free parking is available.
The cost is "Pay as you Go" and the charge is only £3 per session. You are requested to bring a towel to show respect to your fellow trainers. There are changing rooms at the school but no facilities for showering etc. If you are a current member and bring a newcomer, you won’t be asked to pay for your session.
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