Powerlifting, Crossfit, Bikini Body Guide, 21 Day Fix, Spinning, Running, Cross Training, Weight Lifting, and the list goes on.
There are so many styles of exercises out there, and with each new trend of exercise there is a following of people that claim it is the best, and it will help you reach your goals the fastest. But, do they know your goals? Do they have the same goals as you? Probably not, so that crossfit class, or that spin class may not help you get to where you want to go, especially if the person suggesting it doesn't even know what your goals are.
So what kind of exercise is best for you? Well that depends, on what you want to accomplish. It is so important to pick a personal trainer, or an exercise that aligns with your goals. It is also important to know what your goals are, beyond what you want to look like. For me, I want to get stronger, I want to be able to do multiple pull-ups, pistol squats etc. I also want to be more toned and lower my body fat percentage. My goals are not to build a lot of muscle, so I do not lift really heavy weights every day. I do a lot of circuit training, I lift every once in awhile and I run and do spin classes just because I love love love cardio. What works for me, may not work for you. That is why I encourage everyone to find the exercise that they love, that will help them reach their personal goals.
Here, I am breaking down some common goals and writing the best ways to meet those goals. For more specific training guidelines please visit my Train with Me page or send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Probably the most common goal out there, many people who want to lose weight assume that they need to do a ton of cardio and eat next to nothing. This is not entirely true. Yes, you should do some cardio because it will improve your cardiovascular health, and if you have a lot of excess weight to lose then likely your cardiovascular system could use exercise. There are a lot of people out there that say skip the cardio, I am not one of those people. Cardio should never be skipped, if you do not want to go run or walk for 30 minutes, that's fine, add it into your strength training and do a circuit workout (my favorite way to add in some cardio). Cardio is very important, especially if you want to lose weight.
Weight training. Lifting weights is also so important if your goal is to lose weight. Weight training increases the amount of muscle you have and decreases your body fat. Having more muscle is beneficial because it burns more calories at rest than fat does. For example two people, same weight, one person has more muscle than the other, the person with more muscle will burn more calories at rest than a person with less muscle.
If weight loss is your goal then yes, you are going to need to change up your diet because at the end of the day its all about calories in vs. calories out. Although, there are obviously calories that are WAY better for you than others, I encourage you to pick the better ones 98% of the time. Nutrition is a key part of weight loss, and general health so it can not be overlooked. As they say, you can not out-exercise a bad diet.
Goal: BUILD STRENGTH AND MUSCLE
Building strength and gaining muscle mass is another common goal for a lot of people. The key to getting stronger and building muscle is lifting heavy weights. Heavy weight lifting stimulates the muscle to grow bigger. There is a lot of research behind this (physiology stuff that I won't get into).
If muscle growth is your goal then you should not do excess, steady-state cardio because it will have detrimental effects to growing muscle. However, cardio is still important for overall health, so adding in a good circuit workout, or a brisk walk is still beneficial and important.
If building muscle, and getting bigger is the goal then you are going to need to eat for it. Your working muscles need to fuel to be able to lift heavy and maximize results from each workout. For more specific nutrition goals to grow muscle I suggest seeing a RD or other nutrition expert because they will be able to give better advice.
Goal: ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
If your goal is athletic performance then weight-lifting, speed and agility and cardio are all important. Although it depends on the specific sport to go into further details about training, here are some general guidelines.
Does your sport require short bouts of intense cardio (football, basketball)? Then do sprints, if you have the equipment sled runs or any sort of running with added resistance will help increase your running speed.
Does your sport require fast movements, changing direction or complex foot movements? Then you need to do agility training, agility training involves the use of obstacles to help you change direction quickly.
Does your sport require explosive movements? Explosive lifts will be very beneficial to those sports (almost all) that involve explosive movements. Some examples are shooting a hockey puck, a basket ball, swinging a racket or kicking a ball. DEFINITELY make sure to have a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specials show you these exercises before attempting alone.
There is a lot that goes into training for a specific sport beyond conditioning and muscle strength. To make sure you are training to maximize athletic performance send me a message!
Goal: GENERAL HEALTH
Exercise is a crucial part of maintaining general health and well-being. The American College of Sports Medicine recomends 3-5 days of about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity and 2-3 days of strength training. That is a pretty general recommendation, so pick what you like and do it! Go to classes, try getting advice from a personal trainer and enjoy physical activity and living a healthy life!
Those are my general suggestions on how to reach each of those goals! For more details and specific recommendations on weight loss, muscle growth, athletic performance, and general health please visit my train with me page or send me a private message!