Picking the Right Workout for You
Picking The Right Workout For You
When it comes to workout programs, there is no one size fits all.
First of all, we all have different lives, circumstances, goals, health histories, that can factor into what is right for us.
So that’s why we want to go over the most common types of workouts so you can pick the right program for you.
Remember this as you read on: the right workout for you is the workout you’ll stick with.
What Matters When Choosing a Workout?
Save yourself a lot of time by putting in some thought into the why and how of working out for you.
Consider the following factors:
- Do you want to lift heavy things, run long races, simply feel better, look good naked?
- How much time do you have? Be realistic.
- Remember, if you have a goal then you might need to create time to work at it. Put a pen to paper and figure it out.
What’s your family situation?
- Kids, partners, roommates, ailing parents, pets, you name it, what are your obligations? Because they can throw a wrench in even the most well-intended best fitness exercise program.
Access to facilities/equipment
- Do you have a gym nearby and time to commute? If not, you might need to consider a workout program you can do from home.
Types of Workouts
Now, let’s get to the fun part: the different types of workouts you could choose. Think of it as a mix and match.
Activities like walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing or any combination of these would be considered exercise training options for cardiorespiratory endurance.
The fun part about cardio (yes there can be fun in cardio) is that you can change it up to get more out of it.
For a cardio program of continuous training, you might choose to walk at a steady pace continuously for 30 minutes every day. This activity would be an example of a cardiorespiratory endurance program. Similarly, you might choose to use the recumbent bike at your local gym to pedal consistently at a set intensity and time.
For a cardio program of Interval Training, you train with consistent intervals of high and low intensity for a decided period of time greater than 20 minutes for cardio programs.
For example, you might row on the rowing machine for an easy pace of 2 minutes, followed by a 1-minute row at an increased intensity and then continue alternating this 2 minutes of easy/1 minute of increased intensity for the duration of your exercise workout routine.
For more cardio endurance training options try one of these fun class exercise activities at a local gym: spinning, kickboxing, or HIIT.
Strength Training Programs
Strength training offers a wide variety of possible combinations for training, whether you are in the gym or at home.
The first thing we want to touch on is form. Many people sacrifice proper lifting form and exercise technique in order to lift a heavier amount of weight or complete more repetitions after muscle fatigue.
Be sure to study proper form before performing any weight lifting exercises. Another option is to explore working with a personal trainer, someone who can help guide you on form.
Free Weights: Barbells and Dumbbells
Strength training exercise programs often incorporate a delicate balance of weight training using both barbells and dumbbells.
An individual’s training program goals will dictate the training frequency, intensity, exercise types, loads, number of sets and repetitions, and rest intervals
Barbell exercise workout programs are great for gym-goers as well as those working out at home. With just a long bar and some weighted plates, you can execute an entire strength training program!
The advantage of barbell training is it often hits every muscle. For you, that means that in addition to working your legs and glutes during a squat, you’ll also engage stabilizing muscles in your core at the same time.
Dumbbell exercise programs offer tons of variety for strength training exercise programs. They are often incorporated into boot camp and crossfit type workouts because they allow each participant to choose the appropriate weight for their individual needs.
Dumbbell training workout programs are useful for targeting specific muscles and muscle groups as well as working on muscle imbalances from one side of the body to the other.
Fixed Weights: Smith Machines, Cable Machines, Fixed Resistance Exercise Machines
Gyms typically offer a wide variety of muscle isolation exercise machines. These machines are a huge advantage to someone new or inexperienced because they help remove some of the risk associated with poor lifting form or exercise technique by providing a set motion for the user to perform an exercise routine.
Smith machines have a fixed range of motion for the barbell which might eliminate the natural movement pattern and steps for exercises performed with a free-weight barbell. This creates security and reduces (not eliminates) risk of injury from improper lifting form and best technique.
Fixed Resistance Exercise Machines will have one or two exercises and steps you can perform. However intimidating these machines might look, they are the safest choice for anyone new to strength training. They also are the ideal best choice for isolating specific muscles while providing adequate resistance to the muscle and support at the joints.
Cable machines make it easy to change between exercises and resistances quickly. They also make it convenient to isolate and train a muscle or muscle group using steady resistance steps with proper form through the full range of motion.
When using cable machines, the resistance is constant throughout the entire movement of the exercise steps. Both the change in resistance and constant resistance can be an advantage to your strength training exercise program depending on your training needs.
Bodyweight strength training programs can be incredibly effective in building muscle and increasing your cardio endurance. The key to a solid bodyweight strength training exercise program is proper bodyweight progression.
With a quick Google search, you can find a lot of great bodyweight workout programs that you can do at the gym or at home. Or better yet, talk to a trainer and your gym if you want someone to help push you that extra mile while giving proper guidance.
To supplement your bodyweight training exercise program try one or all of these easy to find pieces of equipment: yoga mat, step or box, pull-up bar, or Bosu ball.
More fun equipment options for alternative strength training programs include tires and sledgehammers, sandbags, medicine and slam balls, and kettlebells.
Flexibility programs can reduce the risk of injury, alleviate back pain, and overcome balance problems by engaging in exercise activities that lengthen and stretch the muscles. Maintaining well-stretched muscles can improve athletic performance and allow movement through a full range of motion.
Flexibility programs include yoga, pilates, tai chi, and more.
Picking the Right Workout For You
Picking the right workout for you comes back to – well– you! What are your goals, what will supplement your healthy lifestyle? These are the questions you need to ask as you begin the process of finding a workout that suits you.
Just remember, don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. Sometimes you don’t know what you enjoy until you try a few.
As the old saying goes, “At some point, you’ve got to stop reading the map and just start walking the terrain.”