Create a more balanced workout with circuit training. It's a more functional method, because it involves moving from one activity to the next with varying amounts of rest, depending on your goals and level of conditioning. Athletes can use circuit training to emphasize aerobic, strength, flexibility or balance in their conditioning programs. (Read more on the STACK Circuit Training page.)
Circuit training has many advantages for athletes. When you're in a time crunch, combining aerobic and strength training provides a total-body workout in a shorter period of time. Since you use different equipment, movements, intensities and exercises, your body is constantly challenged. This helps prevent overuse injuries and avoids mental burnout.
However, circuit training is not for everyone, especially those who lack access to a variety of equipment. And if you want to emphasize either the strength or the aerobic component for a sport or event, you might be better off training each component separately. Also, if you're coming off an injury, a circuit program could prove too challenging, so make sure you work at a slower pace and incorporate sufficient amounts of rest.
Want to get started? The following is a basic format guideline for a circuit training program. Both beginner and advanced athletes can use it by tailoring the exercises to meet their individual needs and by varying the intensity. Sets and reps depend on your specific fitness level. Be creative when designing your own circuit. Try heading out to a local gym, track or stadium. Use a variety of exercises, and change them weekly to challenge different muscles and prevent exercise burnout.