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The relative effectiveness of interval circuit training compared with three other methods of fitness training in a school physical education programme Banister, Eric W.

Abstract

Much controversy exists regarding the most efficient means of applying methods of progressive resistance work in training routines. The contrasting principles of isometric and isotonic exercise have added further confusion to the area, This study combines different forms of endurance and dynamic strength training in an easily administered form which can be used in a school physical education programme. It compares this method, called here. Interval Circuit Training, with three other types of training to determine which of these methods could be used best in a school. Four groups of fourteen to sixteen year old boys were matched initially on the basis of their scores on three indices; The Harvard Step Test Index, Larson's Strength Index, McCloys Classification Index. The first two of these indices namely endurance and strength were combined to give a Total Fitness Factor. The initial scores of the boys on each of these same tests also gave measures of what have been called The Endurance Factor and The Dynamic Strength Factor respectively. The boys took park in four different training programmes. One group did Interval Circuit Training emphasising endurance and strength training, one group conventional Circuit Training combined with endurance running, another group conventional Circuit Training followed by games activity and the final group had a total Activity programme. They took part in the different training methods once every eight days for a period of two months by which time eight training sessions had been completed. During the rest of their weekly programme all the groups followed a similar programme of athletics and gymnastics and there was no specific weight training or endurance running performed by any of the groups during this time. After two months the groups were re-tested and the respective fitness indices calculated. The differences of mean gains occurring between the groups from test to re-test were compared. The Interval Circuit Training Group showed gains in total fitness over the Circuit Training Activity group and the Games Activity group at the level of significance chosen (0.1). Also no significant gains were made by any of the other groups over each other in any of the factors tested at the 10 per cent level of confidence. Gains in the scores were made from test to re-test by all the groups on all the factors. The largest gains were made by the Interval Circuit Training group and these gains were particularly evident in the strength factor.

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