Now I'm not saying that the circuit style training is ineffective, as the fat loss benefits of creating higher metabolic demands plus added inefficiency to the process are gold when it comes to producing fat loss results. But for an athlete, who's primary goal is to maximize the development of each athletic component without robbing from one to increase another, this style of training is the complete opposite of how the process should be organized.
The problem is coaches, parents and athletes get blinded because this style of training is hard... and sports are hard. The people used to market these programs are athletic looking... I mentioned earlier how effective this type of training is for fat loss. But the biggest issue (not that it being a completely ineffective training method isn't big enough) is that when done incorrectly (how we see and hear it is done most of the time) there is a huge risk for injury.
I posted earlier this summer about how one of the athletes in our program was working out with her sports team doing one of these workouts and she broke her foot jumping back and forth over a rowing machine after they used the rower for a specific distance. So were they working on developing endurance (using the rower as a rower) or working on power development (using the rower as a hurdle for a plyometric activity)? I'm not sure, but what I am sure of is those qualities cannot be developed optimally (or safely) combined the way they were. It's also negligent, because the height of the rower cannot be adjusted to meet the jumping ability of each athlete, especially when the athletes are completing the activity in a fatigued state.
We have also had athletes essentially have to leave our program to train in team organized strength & conditioning activities. We do not have an issue with this as strength & conditioning is an optimal environment to build team chemistry and leadership, but when they leave our program to run through P90X or Insanity DVD programs there is nothing that boils my blood more. And that has been a huge motivation for me to continue to educate parents/coaches/athletes about what we do, and just as importantly why those programs suck (done sugar coating it).
Obviously as someone who dedicates his career to the development of athletes and invests thousands of dollars a year on continuing to educate myself and our staff we should take offense to a team coach selecting a training program for their athletes that they picked up for 3 easy payments of $34.99 on a Sunday morning before the NFL game!
All of these programs (P90x, Insanity, Crossfit, "Some Random Location" Bootcamp) should not even be options for athletes looking to improve performance because they are ill-suited from a programming standpoint to generate "actual results" that matter in athletics. They are also so poorly designed that they increase the likelihood of injury during athletic competition because of the continual breakdown of the athletes with little or no regards to recovery. And as stated earlier they also include the high likelihood of injury during the actual training process which always toes the line of negligence in our book.
Your strength & conditioning program should be solely based on the "Development of the Fittest" not "Survival of the Fittest".
And there is nothing "random" about that.