There are endless ways to exercise our bodies, which is both good and bad news. The good news is that there is a type of workout for every body type, skill level and preference. The bad news is that it can be hard to choose which style of exercise is the best for you and your goals. So where do you begin if you’re just getting started working out or are ready for a change of pace? That’s what we’re talking about today! Keep reading to learn how to choose the right workout for you.
Start With Your Goals
What are your current fitness goals? Are you looking to lose weight, lower inflammation, put on muscle, improve your endurance, or become more flexible? Each of these goals can be accomplished through different training methods, but certain workouts are better suited than others. Figure out what your main goals are in the gym, and that will help determine which workout is the right workout for you.
Set A Budget
Workout programs have a wide price range, from free to hundreds of dollars each month. If you’re willing to invest a larger budget in your fitness, getting a personal trainer or attending a boutique gym may be an option for you. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to start with a basic gym membership and purchase online programming. The great news is that you can still try a variety of workout styles from online programs. All you need to do is research the style of training you want to try and verify the credentials of the person whose programming you want to use.
Experiment With A Variety Of Styles
It’s hard to tell if you’ll like something if you never give it a try. Our final piece of advice is to narrow down the styles of training that fit within your goals and budget, and then try them all. We recommend giving a program at least 2-3 weeks before deciding if you want to continue with it. One week isn’t enough time to get over the “honeymoon” period, but 3 weeks is plenty of time to see how your body recovers and notice patterns in how you feel.
We’ve included a list of different styles of workouts below, along with our recommendations for which goals fit with each style. When it comes to knowing how to choose the right workout for you, the best place to start is being honest with yourself about what you want. Enjoy this list of workouts below and let us know which ones you try in the comments.
CrossFit is a style of functional fitness that combines strength, cardio, and gymnastic modalities to bring a constantly varied approach to getting fit. Most gyms either use programming written by their owners or CrossFit.com. The great thing about CrossFit is that it is totally scalable to you and your current fitness level, so don’t be intimidated to try it out. Be sure to talk to the owners and coaches about your skill level prior to showing up for class, and most gyms will be able to walk you through the basics before getting to the workout. CrossFit can be intense, so really consider your goals before deciding if it is the right workout for you.
Budget: $150 – $300 per month
Goals: Improved fitness, gain strength, weight loss
If you’re looking to lower inflammation in your body, gain strength and improve your flexibility, you won’t go wrong with yoga. There are so many different styles of yoga to meet your fitness level, from Yin to Bikram. Some people are hesitant to pursue yoga as their primary training method for fear of it not being challenging enough. We can tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. Like with CrossFit, yoga is really what you make it, so it’s important to communicate your goals and hesitations with your instructor. If you go to a good studio, the instructors are well-trained to be able to adjust your positioning in class to get the best out of every pose!
Budget: $150 – $275 per month
Goals: Improve flexibility, meditation and mind-body connection, gain strength, weight loss
Weight training is a style of exercise that includes many types of lifting. Some people like to lift really heavy, like power lifters and olympic lifters. Others like to mix heavy and light lifting with a wide range of reps and work:rest ratios, like bodybuilders. Weight training is an important exercise method for everyone, especially as we get older and our bones begin to lose density. The question of your desired intensity is really the bigger question when it comes to lifting. If you are an experienced weight lifter, you probably don’t need supervision (though having a spotter always comes in handy). If you are inexperienced, however, then it’s important to find someone who knows what they’re doing to help you get started. Whether you find a personal trainer at your local gym, stop into the nearest CrossFit box, or hire an online coach, it’s helpful to have someone watching your form to make sure you’re moving well!
Budget: $10 – $700 per month (includes standard box gym memberships all the way to speciality lifting gyms and personal trainers)
Goals: Improve body composition, gain strength, weight loss, toning and shaping
Ah, endurance training…it’s the form of exercise we love to finish and hate to start. Endurance training is otherwise known as aerobic training, and it has incredible health benefits beyond weight loss. Physicians recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day for improved health and wellness, but endurance training can last much longer than that. The key with this style of training is exercising at a lower intensity level which allows you to maintain your effort for a long period of time. Things to keep in mind when choosing what style of endurance training you want to do include access to equipment and impact level to name a few. For example, running is significantly higher impact on our joints than cycling. If you have arthritis or struggle to control inflammation in your body, you may want to opt for lower-impact endurance activities.
Budget: $0 – thousands (this depends on if you’re using a gym’s equipment or investing in your own- of course, running and walking are free!)
Goals: Improve fitness and health markers, gain strength, increase aerobic capacity, weight loss