Circular Strength Training (CST) combines modern science with ancient training methods to create a system that meets people at their current level of strength. Scott Sonnon created CST to develop a health first exercise system that trains people to be movement specialists. CST covers three main areas: joint health and mobility, compensating yoga sequences, and resistance training with Clubbells. The great thing about CST is that it is scalable to the individual’s skill and level of training.
CST is a health first training system that uses incremental progression. The person’s ability and strength set the pace and as they regain mobility and increase strength so increases the challenge of the program. This increasing sophistication allows the challenge of CST to evolve with the individual which keeps the program from getting boring as it continually pushes the individual’s limits.
The first area of the system is joint mobility which is addressed by combining specific drills into movement sequences. This provides needed nutrition to the joints which speeds recovery. Search for Intu-Flow on YouTube for demonstrations of the drills. The second area is Prasara Yoga which provides compensation for the individual’s training or just the strain of daily living. The third area is progressive resistance which is done by using the Clubbell. Scott Sonnon took the oldest fitness tool, the club, and training methods from ancient Russia, Persia, and India to develop swinging patterns done using the Clubbell. The torque from swinging the Clubbell strengthens both the muscle and connective tissue of the associated joints. These three areas create the system but the individual’s goals are set by using a unique Training Hierarchy Pyramid created by Scott Sonnon.
The Training Hierarchy Pyramid (THP) which CST is built upon, develops stages to address the individual’s current state compared to their goal state. Think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need, but for training. The four stages or levels, starting from the bottom of the pyramid are General Preparedness, Specific Physical Preparedness, Activity Specific Preparedness, and at the top is Mental and Emotional Preparedness. These four levels allow the individual to develop a path to achieving their goals. The first level creates work capacity and strengthens deficits in mobility. The second level creates sophistication of movement and increases range of motion. The third level focuses on the specific activity by morphing training into practice. It also shifts from volume of exercises to quality or sophistication of exercises. The final level develops the mental fortitude. Working through the THP improves the person’s skill acquisition, allows them to break personal records or just get back their health.
THP provides the framework for the training but the Fitness Value Hierarchy of CST provides the five priorities. From first to last, the priorities are Health, Mobility, Function, Attributes, and Physique. CST places health as the top priority and you can see that physique is last. As the individual works through the system, physique is almost a by-product. The health first priority is exemplified in the four day pattern of the routines, which revolve around a rest day, recovery day, moderate intensity day, and high intensity day.
CST provides a system to cover every aspect of an individual’s health, fitness, and sports performance. The most important thing for me is that you don’t get bored with the program as it has such variety.