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How to train your body all round with circuit training and the innovation of Biocircuit

The benefits of aerobic exercise on various health outcomes and functional parameters are well established; similarly, the beneficial effects of resistance training on muscle strength and mass across all segment of the population have been reported extensively in the literature.

If two plus two equals four, it is clear that a well-rounded exercise program consisting of both aerobic and resistance training is preferred to one that focuses only on a single mode of exercise.

One training modality that fits perfectly this kind of program is the CIRCUIT TRAINING.

What is circuit training?

The circuit training methodology is generally claimed to be firstly proposed by Morgan and Anderson in 1953 at the University of Leeds in England.

The name “circuit” comes from a number of consecutive stations, generally from 8 to 12 available in the circuit, but it may vary according to the design. During a Circuit Training participants can work at their own intensity while also training with others.

Circuit training consists of several stations
Each participant moves from one station to the next with little (15 to 30 seconds) or no rest, performing 15 to 45 seconds of workout of generally 8 to 20 repetitions at each station (using a resistance of about 40% to 80% of 1 repetition maximum).

Furthermore, by adding 3 or more minutes of aerobic stations (such as cycling and running), both the aerobic and anaerobic energy system will be stimulated and trained (in addition to the strength component), resulting in a complete and quick all around workout.

Biocircuit, taking circuit training to the next level

To that end, Technogym’s latest evolution in circuit training is Biocircuit, a comprehensive circuit of machineries all connected to each other. When designing Biocircuit, we tried to take all these ingredients and put them together to conceive the most seamless circuit training for the user.

The strength – cardio circuit is made of 6 strengths and 6 cardio stations with fixed work and rest times, allowing up to 12 users to work simultaneously at all times.

The machines themselves guide the user during the workout in order to easily achieve the selected goal instructing him/her also on where to go next, allowing exactly the needed rest time, thus making this training very effective on both aerobic and strength component.

But the real added value is represented by the fact that the Biocircuit allows the unique possibility of subjectively customize the exercise intensity thanks to the execution of the “circuit set up”, a series of tests aimed to identify the correct intensities for each user on each aerobic or strength machine.

Accordingly, the proposed loads in any of the circuits are always related to individual percentages of maximal strength ad aerobic capacities, depending on the specific goal and needs. This means that 12 people could be working at the same time on the circuit, each one of which with different goals, loads and intensity.

Biostrength and the customization of variable resistances

All of the above mentioned was achievable thanks to the development of an electronic motor installed on the Biostrength machines. The innovative motor is in fact not only able to simulate a classic isotonic resistance, but also generate adaptive resistance adjustment in response to kinematic parameters (i.e. position, velocity, and acceleration) of movement.

Hydraulic, viscous and elastic resistances were reliably simulated by modulating the resistance load, according to the instantaneous value of the exercise velocity. Control in velocity also enables the isokinetic modality, which is routinely used for clinical assessment of muscle strength. The resistance can also be differentiated between the concentric and eccentric phase of the exercise.

Multiple people with personalized workouts on a single circuit
Basically, any desired resistance profile can, in theory, be designed to emphasize muscle activity in a particular portion of the range of motions or unload a specific joint structure, to mimic the natural movements and resistances we deal with every day, as well as to give sportsmen a better preparation in their different athletic fields.
The wide range of different resistances provided by the electronic motor inside Biocircuit allows a heterogeneous group of people to work out on the equipment. Despite the full customization of the training possibilities available on Biocircuit, the equipment offers 5 preset training programs, which have been developed following the most desired fitness goals of gym users:

  • Start moving: Aim of this circuit is to enhance energy and mood with increased muscle strength, muscle endurance and improved posture. The resistance is isotonic with a load variation within the set: the load start at 40% of 1RM and terminate at 55% of 1RM.
Start moving: designed for newcomers to sports training
  • Lose weight: Aim of this circuit is to raise one’s metabolic rate during exercise. The proposed load is 50% of 1RM (low intensity), the heart rate should be maintained elevated executing the cardio component at an higher intensity. Speed of execution of the resistance exercises is high to maintain the increased heart rate obtained with the cardio exercise.
  • Tone your body: Aim of this circuit is to improve muscle balance and harmony. The resistance is isotonic with 25% overload of in the eccentric phase. If the user gets fatigued the spotter is active, helping when the speed of execution tend to zero, a spotter function helps to lift the weight during the given repetition. The pace is moderate during the concentric phase and slow during the eccentric one.
Tone your body: improves muscle balance and harmony
  • Stay young: Aim of this circuit is to enhance general quality of life and specific daily living activities, improving muscle balance and harmony. The resistance is isotonic with no inertia to reduce joint impact at the beginning of movement. Speed of execution is moderate on both the concentric and eccentric phase.
  • Boost performance: Aim of this circuit is to increase muscle power and to ignite competitive spirit with high intensity training. The strength machines utilize the viscous resistance (that increases in relation to the speed of execution), so the intensity is completely dependent on user capacity and willingness to train hard. The higher the speed, the higher the resistance. The basic trained quality is muscle power.
Boost Performance: improve your athletic performance
Nonetheless, the training routines can be subsequently customized, changing the level of resistance at each station, so to adequate the needs of the user with the capabilities of Biocircuit.

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