Effects of a Circuit Training Program on Muscular and Cardiovascular Endurance and their Maintenance in Schoolchildren

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a circuit training program along with a maintenance program on muscular and cardiovascular endurance in children in a physical education setting. Seventy two children 10-12 years old from four different classes were randomly grouped into either an experimental group (n = 35) or a control group (n = 37) (two classes for each group). After an eight-week development program carried out twice a week and a four-week detraining period, the experimental group performed a four-week maintenance program once a week. The program included one circuit of eight stations of 15/45 to 35/25 seconds of work/rest performed twice. Abdominal muscular endurance (sit-ups in 30 seconds test), upper-limbs muscular endurance (bent arm hang test), and cardiovascular endurance (20-m endurance shuttle run test) were measured at the beginning and at the end of the development program, and at the end of the maintenance program. After the development program, muscular and cardiovascular endurance increased significantly in the experimental group (p < 0.05). The gains obtained remained after the maintenance program. The respective values did not change in the control group (p > 0.05). The results showed that the circuit training program was effective to increase and maintain both muscular and cardiovascular endurance among schoolchildren. This could help physical education teachers design programs that permit students to maintain fit muscular and cardiovascular endurance levels.

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