Weight training has a similar objective to Circuit training - i.e. to improve the body's capability to cope with the stresses involved with running, and to improve performance through increased strength and power.
The difference between the two techniques is that, whilst circuits are aimed at increasing performance through endurance improvments, weight training looks to increase the maximum capacity of our body's strength. This is a bit of a generalisation as there is a cross-over between the two, but the sentiment is not far wrong.
Weight training involves the use of either fixed weights or free weights to provide the resistance for the body to work against.
Should I use free or fixed weights?
Generally, a lot of athletes prefer the use of free weights as there is greater range of movement possible - it allows more development of power and control, and allows you to effectively train the movements of running (as opposed to isolating individual muscles - which we never do when we run).
The advantage of fixed weights is that they are safer than free ones, with there being little danger of them dropping and hurting someone.
It is important when using free weights that you ensure that the weights on the bar are secured firmly with collars - to make sure they don't move about or, worse, fall off. The only time you might wish to remove collars are when doing bench press on your own - in case it gets trapped on your chest - though we strongly advise that you always have someone spotting you.
Weight Lifting Technique
Technique is important in all sporting activities, but particularly so with weight training as incorrectly performed exercises can lead to serious injuries. It is very important that if you are not happy with the technique for any particular exercise, that you seek advice from an experienced, preferably qualified, exponent of it.
In many cases more than one part of the body is used, in which case the exercise will be included under the part of the body that is used the most.
An example of this would be Cleans, where most of the work is done by the legs but the bar is held by the arms and supported by the back.
Learn more / further reading
Do you need help deciding what weights equipment you should use? Try our