I read a quote that goes, “A good workout is when you make your dry fit shirt look like false advertising.”
In this age of fastfood, we also see tremendous aspiration of people to be healthy and fit. This is why “sweat shops” are very popular. Whether you talk about the expensive Gold’s and Fitness Firsts out there , the neighborhood hard core gyms, boxing gyms or martial arts schools, people obviously are more conscious now of being fit. In recent years, a niche group of people have been catered to by a kind of work out that appeals to their intense need to burn calories and level of difficulty. They find their satisfaction in what you call circuit training. The more popular one is cross fit. There are other renditions. I also tried this in my neighborhood mixed martial art gym. The gym is called Spartacus and they call their circuit training Spartacus Training.
What is circuit training?
Circuit Training is a series of exercises that may be body weight or done with a weight equipment done continuously without rest. The number of sets vary according to your capacity. The greatest benefit is that it is a high intensity workout that burns high amount of calories, thereby helping you lose weight in a healthy and physically pleasing way.
The other benefit is that you are part of a trendy group of people and it doesn’t matter if you complete your set or not. Yes, that happens.
Why do I say Karate is the best circuit training?
First, It’s the physical demand in totality that makes it the best. Starting with a warm up that is probably another person’s total work out, to the drills and all the way to the strengthening exercises, the physicality is tremendous.
The second reason is the unpredictability of the pattern. The principle of shocking your body has always been effective in getting an effective body response; whether you mean burning more calories or building muscle mass. This is because when your body is already used to the movement, weight or routine, the physical effect diminishes. In Karate, every minute can be a surprise to your body. This is because the sensei, sempai or coach is the only real person in the dojo who knows what is going to happen next. He is the one who determines what the next drill will be. On top of that and most interesting, there are drills that finish only when everyone gets it right. This means sometimes it is quick, sometimes it takes the whole day (lol 😀 or maybe it only fees like that!). For example, when you do drills on stances, the amount of time varies. Think about that part of your circuit exercise where you do a wall squat. This is always timed. Imagine in Karate doing a stance which is as difficult as squatting without the benefit of leaning your back against a wall, and not knowing when you can proceed to the next stance or drill. It varies. Again, could be quick or could take a day (just kidding about taking the whole day, again).
The last reason and probably happens on a case to case basis is you really do not know how long the work out can end. In our case, we train for 2 to 3 hours. I understand that normally, the classes will tell you a specific schedule. Let’s say it should be from 4pm to 5pm. However there are dojos where they train for as long as the sensei or sempai wants. This is the kind of Karate Club I belong to. Can you imagine circuit training for three hours? That’s got to be the sports definition of insanity. But that’s why Karate is the best circuit training. Because the intensity is insane.