Can circuit training be used to improve cardiovascular fitness in middle and secondary physical education classes? [1996]


Sean P. Yengo

Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education


"Prior to the White House Conference of 1953 very few physical educators stressed physical fitness as an important objective of their individual progress" (Undlin, 1965, p.1). The Presidents Council on Physical Fitness, developed as a result of this conference, and was one of the early instigators of the trend towards the reemphasis of physical fitness in the United States (Undlin, 1965, p. 1). Since then the emphasis on physical fitness has declined, and some question if physical education can accomplish these goals. Recently, however, Veraoff (1988), McGinge (1985), Ross & Gilbert (1985), and Updyke (1989) stated ... "educators consider the physical education class to be the most appropriate mode for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness in children" (Dunham, Li, 1993, p. 181). In addition, the National Conference for Youth Fitness Study discovered that virtually all children (97%) were enrolled in physical education class, but only 36% attended them daily (Vogel, 1991).

Unfortunately, there is alarming research implying that physical educators are not doing all they can to improve fitness of students during class time. Dunham and Li (1993) said "children do not achieve fitness in a typical school physical education program" (p. 181). Griffy (1987) argued that as secondary physical educators "we have failed to provide an experience that our students perceive as meaningful..." (Strott, 1994, p. 333). Jewett & Bain (1985), Koperaud (1986) explained that physical fitness is almost universally recognized as a major goal of physical education (Dunham & Li, 1993). Yet research attains that physical educators are not accomplishing this goal during scheduled physical education classes. The literature also suggests, if there is a change in teaching strategies, then improvements in cardiovascular endurance may be possible.


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