Circuit Training for Optimists sailors

This aim of this circuit is to develop muscle strength and power.

Before every circuit it is important to warm up fully, doing a short run (about 7 – 10 minutes) and to perform a series of stretches (like what was done during the training camp).

For the first week you should perform each of the exercises 10 times ensuring you are using the correct technique all of the time.  After that move on to the following the following times for training:

1. 20 seconds on / 15 seconds off

2. 25 seconds on / 15 seconds off

3. 30 seconds on / 15 seconds off

Try to complete as many repetitions as possible during the allocated time.  Do remember though that there is NO point in doing the exercises if you are not using the correct technique.  Start at the number 1 and when you can complete 3 quality circuits at that work rate move on to number 2.  You should take 1-2 minutes during circuits but remember you want to keep your heart rate up during this time.


  1. Press up on knees / Press up
    • Ensure your body is flat whilst performing the press up
    • Do not arch your back
    • Do not stick your bum in the air
    • Do go down to within a fist of the ground


  1. Lunges
    • Cross your arms over your chest
    • Step forward with one leg bending both legs as you go forwards
    • Keep you upper body straight all of the time
    • Ensure the front foot is flat on the floor, heel of front foot should not leave the floor
    • Step front leg back to meet back leg
    • Repeat on other side


  1. Sit up
    • Lie on ground and bend knees up
    • Do not get anyone to hold your feet
    • Feet should be flat on the floor
    • Cross arms across chest, do not hold onto t-shirt
    • Sit up so that elbows meet knees
    • Lower down do that shoulders come into contact with floor
    • There should be no bouncing up and down it should be a controlled movement all of the time


  1. Squats
    • Stand with feet a little more than shoulder width apart
    • Turn feet out slightly
    • Cross arm across chest
    • Keep upper body completely straight all of the time
    • Squat down as far as you can, but NEVER let heels raise off ground, STOP before they do.
    • Only go as low as you are able to


  1. Back Extensions
    • Lie on the ground on your front
    • Place your hands by your ears
    • Raise your upper body off the ground
    • Do not throw your head back, keep looking at the ground all the way through
    • Hold for a count of two and then lower back down

  1. Sword dance
    • Begin on the ground on your hands and knees
    • Take your opposite arm and opposite leg off the floor at the same time, raising your arm out straight in front of you and your leg straight behind you
    • Hold for a count of two
    • Return to starting position
    • Repeat on other side


  1. Leg Raises
    • Lie on the ground on your back
    • Place your hands under your bum so that your back is flat on the ground
    • Raise your two legs off the ground together
    • Lower them back down
    • Do NOT allow them to touch the ground when you lower them, keep them 3 to 4 inches from the ground at all times

  1. Burpees
    • Start standing up
    • Place hands to ground
    • Jump both legs backwards together
    • Jump them both back in to your hands
    • Raise hands off floor
    • Jump up in the air
    • Repeat action

At the end of every session, spend a short amount of time allowing your body to cool down.  This will reduce heart rate gradually, prevent muscle soreness and help you relax.  A light jog or similar activity is good for this and stretching should be part of every cool down.



Only you can do the circuit.

Only circuits performed with the proper technique are worthwhile.

Try and perform circuits when your heart rate is up.

You should try and do the circuit at least every second day if you want to improve.


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