1University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
2Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Covilhã, Portugal
3Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
The influence of a specific high intensity circuit training during physical education classes in children’s physical activity and body composition markers
Physical activity plays a paramount role on children growth and schools emerged as a key setting for pro- moting physical activity during childhood. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of a high intensi- ty circuit training performed during regular physical education classes at schools. One hundred and five children aged 11–14 years (71 boys and 34 girls) were evaluated. The participants were split into a control group (boys: N = 47; girls: N = 16) and an experimental group (boys: N = 24; girls: N = 18). Besides the normal physical education classes, the experimental group also performed a high intensity circuit training for eight weeks, twice a week, at the beginning of the lesson. A pre- post-test was performed. Cardiorespiratory (20 m shuttle run test ) and a set of strength variables were evaluated. Percentage of fat mass was used as a somatic indicator. The 20 m shuttle run test presented a significant time effect, but not a time X sex, time X group, and time X weight status interactions. Conversely, the strength variables presented a significant time X group interaction (significant differences between groups). Percentage of fat mass presented a significant time effect, but not a significant time X group interaction. Data showed that adding a high intensity circuit training to physical education classes would result in a significant increase in muscular fitness performance in children, but cardiorespiratory fitness may not present the same magnitude of improvement. High in- tensity circuit training programs (performed during regular physical education classes at schools) seem to present a positive and significant effect in physical fitness parameters as well as reducing the percentage of fat mass.
children, physical activity, extra-school programs, strength, fitness
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