Laurie Hug: How I Use the FINIS Circuit Trainer

CircuitTrainerThis season we purchased a FINIS Circuit Trainer for use in our dryland circuits. It can be set for work and rest intervals along with the number of reps to be performed. This makes it much easier to keep track of time than using the stopwatch function on my watch or phone. The beeper volume can be adjusted so that all the swimmers can hear the beep and saves my voice from yelling “START…STOP” for each exercise.

We also came up with another way to use the FINIS Circuit Trainer on the pool deck. We will set it to a send-off time for not-so-typical interval times. For instance, it can be used for multiple groups of 50s such as this set we did last week:

4 x 50y on :50 breast (set to beep every 25s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 on :48 back (set to beep every 24s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 on :46 fly (set to beep every 23s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 on :44 25br/25fr (set to beep every 22s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 on :42 25bk/25fr (set to beep every 21s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 on :40 25fly/25fr (set to beep every 20s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 fr on :38 fr (set to beep every 19s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 fr on :36 fr (set to beep every 18s) then 1 x 50 easy

4 x 50 fr on :34 fr (set to beep every 17s) then 1 x 50 easy

The goal is for the swimmer to beat the beep to the wall at the 25 and 50 marks. The coach can easily see who is hitting the turn before the beep without having to look at the pace clock or a stopwatch. A Tempo Trainer could be used for this but it takes time to synch them  to have each swimmer remove the Tempo Trainer after each group of 50s. This way the coach just has to drop the setting by 1 second when the swimmers do their easy 50.


Laurie Hug is a USAT Level 2 triathlon and Level 3 USMS swimming coach who has an impressive athletic talent of her own. Laurie has earned 344 individual and 36 relay top-ten finishes in US Masters Swimming since 1989. She also swam for the Univ. of Maryland during her undergraduate studies and set four school records (400IM, 500free, 1000free, 1650free). Laurie has also been a professional triathlete (1999-2009) and became a member of the USAT National Team in 2003.

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