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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Effect of circuit training upon cardiovascular condition and motor performance Simmons, Robert Charles George


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a twice-weekly thirty-minute circuit training class in improving the Cardiovascular condition and motor performance of male freshmen enrolled in the Required Physical Education Programme at the University of British Columbia. An experimental sample of twenty subjects was selected randomly from one of the eight circuit training classes but this number was reduced to fifteen by the end of the term. A statistical comparison of the experimental group with a large sample of first year students tested in 1962 was made for height, weight and four motor performance items. The two groups were found to be sufficiently alike to consider the experimental group as reasonably representative of male college freshmen enrolled in the required programme of the University. The subjects were given a -twenty-seven item fitness test battery prior to and at the end of the ten week circuit programme. The gains in fitness measures were evaluated by an analysis of the reliability of mean differences for each test item, a conversion of the mean test scores into standard scores from scoring tables for normal young college men in order to determine mean standard score improvement, and an analysis of the number of students who, between tests, increased their scores, decreased their scores, or remained the same. These results were then compared with those obtained from a physical conditioning programme study which utilized the same tests, procedures and time spent in training between tests. In almost all the variables studied, approximately three-quarters of the subjects showed changes which were in the direction of increased physical fitness. All of the twenty-seven items used showed mean changes in the direction of increased physical fitness and twenty-two of them were statistically significant. These included all the motor performance items and eight of thirteen cardiovascular condition items. Each individual, showed a somewhat unique pattern of changes in cardiovascular condition. Several subjects with relatively high scores on their initial tests had lower scores when they were retested and some subjects who had relatively low initial scores showed higher scores on re-test. The rest of the subjects, in general, increased their scores on retest. The training programme was adequate to produce fair improvements in cardiovascular condition in the initially unfit students. Factors extraneous to the study appeared to influence those subjects who scored high initially but then regressed on retest. The training programme seemed sufficient in duration or intensity (or both) to produce improvement in motor performance. The circuit training programme was found to be superior to the physical conditioning programme in improving most aspects of physical fitness.

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