Completing long circuits in busy gyms

You have had your pre-workout coffee, you've analyzed the workout and, fully prepared, are ready to attack! Except that when you arrive at the gym it packed and there isn't a cat in hells chance that you can compete it in the order described.

Part of our training system will involve testing your body once in a while with our USE IT! phase. This involves completing circuits which involve a series of 7-8 exercises.

Unless you are lucky enough to have your own personal fully equipped gym it's always going to be an issue. Below are some possible solutions. As a frame of reference I have included one of the workouts from our Team Foundation Functional Strength Training membership.

The workout is very tough and as it has a time limit, losing equipment half way through the routine poses a real problem in terms of measuring fitness as it will interfere with your rhythm and eat away time.

Try to complete 4 rounds as fast as possible in the 45 minute time limit. (Not finishing is a strong possibility)

Treadmill 800m

Step ups - Weighted   10 reps each leg

Dumbbell bench press 10 reps

Modified burpee 10 reps

Skipping 150 reps

Push ups 10 reps

Forward jump to backpeddle 10 reps

3 point hops 12 movements

Option 1 - Change training time

Easy one this. In our method you will realistically only be doing one week of long circuits as part of our USE IT! Phase. Can you come in extra early/late or change your lunch break time?

Option 2 - Stop the clock

In the above example their is a 800m treadmill run before any lifting. The is a high degree of probability that someone will come and take a piece of equipment while you are running. For incidents like these I recommend a sharp spear that you can hurl across the room. Failing that you can just stop the clock, reassemble your kit and resume. If doing this then be sure to be consistent with the rest of the workout.

Option 3 - Break it down

Depending on the layout of your gym, some equipment might be closer together than others. A routine like this isn't going to work if you have to change rooms to go for a run. If this is the case, break the exercises down in Neighborhoods.

In the above example only 3 exercises need equipment (4 if you include the skipping rope). The rest can be done on the spot. So you could hit the run, find an area on the floor to skip, burpee, forward jump, 3 point hop. Then pause the clock if moving far away or salvaging equipment, then complete the step up and dumbbell press on the same bench.

Option 4 - Change the format

The last solution would be to change the format from a long circuit into supersets, trisets or quadsets etc.

The aim of the workouts is to challenge your energy systems and this works best when you are switching from one type of exercise to another. Depending on how busy your gym is, you might need to reduce the size of the circuits.

If this is the case then still keep to the 45 minute time limit but complete the 4 sets of each supersets etc in the order above after you have completed the 800m rune.g 800m run, Step ups-Dumbbell press x 4, burpee-slkipping x 4, etc. Just note how far into the routine you get after 45 minutes.