The Gambetta Leg Circuit

1

The Leg Circuit is a tool I devised out of need around twenty-five years ago. It is placed in a training following the Foundational Leg phase. I have used it in many sports. It is a versatile tool if used properly. The Leg Circuit is the foundation for more specific work to follow in terms of absolute strength and plyometrics. This is a program to pu the finishing touches on a foundational strength and power endurance base. It is also a very useful tool to use in lower extremity injury rehabilitation to rebuild work capacity in preparation for return to play. The basic prerequisite for progressing to heavier lifting and high level plyometrics is the ability to perform five full leg circuits without stopping. When an athlete has progressed to this point they are ready!

The key to the effectiveness of the circuit is the speed of the repetitions. The goal is one rep per second. This fast eccentric work results in extreme soreness ( Soreness is not the goal, that is the feedback that you have executed the reps at proper tempo). It is best to do some striding and hurdle walkover drills after the Leg Circuit to stretch out. One rep per second is not possible on the lunge and jump squat because of the amplitude of the movements, but with those exercises it should be as close as possible to that rate. In the squat you should break parallel. The lunge length should be as long as the athlete’s leg. The step-up is an alternating step up on a low box- 14 inches. On the jump squat the arm are held at the waist to accentuate the work of the legs. The ciruit is:

  • Bodyweight Squat 20 Reps
  • Lunge 10 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 10 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 10 Reps

Leg Circuit Progression- Twice a week Mon/Thu or Tue/Sat. The eventual goal is to go through the circuits continuously without a rest. For an athlete who does not have a good training base this is the progression that you should be use:

Week # 1

3 circuits with 30 seconds rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 10 Reps
  • Lunge 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 5 Reps

Week # 2

5 circuits with 30 seconds rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 10 Reps
  • Lunge 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 5 Reps

Week # 3

3 circuits with no rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 10 Reps
  • Lunge 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 5 Reps

Week # 4

5 circuits with no rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 10 Reps
  • Lunge 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 5 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 5 Reps

Week # 5

Session One – 5 circuits with 30 seconds rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

Session Two – 5 circuits with no rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 15 Reps
  • Lunge 8 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 8 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 8 Reps

Week # 6

Session One – 5 circuits with 30 seconds rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

Session Two – 5 circuits with no rest between exercises and 1 min rest between circuits

  • Bodyweight Squat 20 Reps
  • Lunge 10 Reps Each Leg
  • Step-up 10 Reps Each Leg
  • Jump Squat 10 Reps

The folllowing is a six-week progression for an athlete who has a good base of training. The total volume in reps for each workout is in parenthesis.

Week 1 – 3 circuits with 45 Sec between exercises 3 Min between circuits (210)

Weeks 2 – 4 circuits with 45 Sec between exercises 2 Min between circuits (280)

Weeks 3 – 5 circuits with 30 Sec between exercises 90 Sec between circuits (350)

Weeks 4 – 5 circuits with 30 Sec between exercises 60 Sec between circuits (350)

Week 5 – 5 circuits with 30 Sec between exercises, No rest between circuits (350)

Week 6 – 5 circuits with no rest between exercises or between circuits (350)

Depending on the athletes training age the Leg Circuit can be cycled in twice during a training year. There are many progressions and variations off of this depending on the sport and athlete.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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