Resources Library

ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

Circuit training has been around for decades, but it’s currently undergoing something of a re-invention. In its latest guise, the indoor rower takes centre stage to help teams achieve an intensely efficient cardio workout, writes Judi Mead.

ShockWave, the new circuit workout currently being rolled out in Fitness First clubs across the country, has been dubbed ‘the most efficient total body workout in the world’, ‘the fat burning workout you’re not doing yet’ and ‘the new cardio’. Designed for 32 participants, in two formats – 30 mins or 45 mins – it is a team-oriented, high intensity, circuit-style workout that promises to transform participants’ bodies and elevate fitness levels to new heights.

Using Indo-Row water rowers as its centrepiece, ShockWave challenges participants with three rounds of intense rowing. In a 30-minute format, participants work in groups of eight, completing a series of rowing challenges, and additional exercises, at strength stations. No group can move to the next station until each rower has completed their programmed distance on the water rowers. In the 45-minute format, the number of stations and row sessions in each round is doubled.

The need for ‘new’ circuits training

So, why the need for a ‘new’ circuit training class like ShockWave? By incorporating one of the most efficient and effective forms of cardio workout, the rower, Shockwave adds variety and challenge to the old circuit format. It’s also the sort of group exercise that appeals to males: it has the power to bring men – particularly time-poor ones – back to the group exercise studio!


There’s no question that the Indo-row rowers are the stars of the show – ShockWave isn’t ShockWave without them – but you can also use a variety of additional apparatus. As a circuit-style workout, the equipment needed depends on activities at each station. It can include, but not be limited to, BOSUs, medicine balls, Swiss balls, weights/plates and steps/risers.

Advantages to the club

The 30-minute format enables the scheduling of two classes per hour, which means that more members can use the studio in an hour. Although eight rowers limit class numbers to 32, the total possible in an hour is 64 participants – meaning ShockWave can hold its own in any peak timeslot.
And, as previously mentioned, its easy-to-follow but physically challenging circuit format makes it more of a draw for male participants than some other classes. As we know, group exercise is great for increasing member attendance, and for retention rates.

Advantages to the participant

Although it’s best suited to members who enjoy total-body, high-intensity workouts, combining cardio and strength in a highly energetic and motivated team-oriented format, ShockWave’s unique design makes it suitable for all fitness levels. By bringing out the competitive spirit it delivers a highly efficient cardio workout for the time-poor. If members can commit to just thirty minutes a day, ShockWave promises to make them fitter and stronger than an average half-hour workout.

Judi Mead
Judi is National Group Fitness Manager for Fitness First Australia. After starting out as an instructor in 2001, Judi worked her way up to Regional Manager, Senior Cluster GFM and then National GFM.


Member Only Content