Navigating the world of workouts can be overwhelming for those who are new to exercise. Depending on your specific goals, there is likely an array of different workouts that would best suit your needs. Getting clear on your goals, followed by your budget, time availability, equipment or accessibility to a workout facility, and your vulnerability to injury should all be considered when deciding which type of workouts to include in your exercise regiment. Below, we’ve broken down some of the most common types of workouts to help get you started on your workout journey!
Weight training involves the use of machines, equipment, or your own body weight to improve muscular fitness. In other words, weight training helps you “tone” your muscles by increasing muscle mass and altering body fat percentage. Aside from improving your physical appearance, it also helps to improve posture and can assist with rehabilitation from an injury.
Generally speaking, it easier to use a gym facility for weight training because you can access various kinds of weights and exercise machines that one typically does not have at home. Gym membership rates vary, but on average, they are anywhere from $15.00 to $30.00 per week. If you are a beginner, it is very helpful to hire a personal trainer to help you learn the basics. This usually costs someone anywhere from $75.00 to $100.00 per hour. To see good progress from weight training, I recommend incorporating it into your workout regime three to four times per week, with some rest days in between. The risk of injury from weight training is low if you are using the appropriate weights.
LISS Cardio (Low Intensity Steady State)
As the name suggests, cardiovascular exercises are great for improving your heart performance and blood circulation. LISS cardio means you are exercising at a lower intensity for a longer period of time. LISS cardio examples include leisurely jogging, swimming and hiking.
LISS cardio can be done by anyone who has access to an environment where they can walk, run, hike, swim, cycle or hike. One of the benefits of LISS cardio is that it can be done for free. Because this type of workout has a low impact, it can be done frequently and for a long period of time - as long as it’s not over-tiring your body and you do not have a pre-existing injury.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Unlike LISS workouts, HIIT is high impact. HITT exercises are short periods of very high intensity, followed by low to zero intensity. These interval changes are what makes HIIT the best workout for those who are wanting to improve their explosive performance, speed, and VO2 max (i.e. efficiency in oxygen usage during the exercise). Because HITT spikes your heart rate, it is not recommended for elderlies, or for those with certain injuries or medical conditions.
HITT workouts can be done at home, outdoors, or at a gym. The duration of HITT workouts is much shorter than LISS. It is not recommended to perform HIIT workouts frequently unless you're on a strategic program. I suggest one to two times per week alongside other forms of workouts.
The traditional and fundamental purpose of yoga is to deepen the connection between the mind, body, and one’s environment, while physically strengthening one’s body, and mentally strengthening one’s mind. If you are looking to build self-awareness through physical movement, then yoga may be right for you.
Although yoga can be done at home or outdoors, it is often practised in a calming studio alongside a yoga teacher. The teacher typically assists individuals with the physical movements of yoga while providing spiritual or life guidance throughout the practise. Yoga memberships are usually around $30.00 per week, or you can purchase individual class passes as you go. Yoga can be practised as frequently or infrequently as you prefer, at whatever level of intensity benefits you.
Pilates is a low impact, total body exercise comprising controlled movements that can help to improve your flexibility, mobility, balance, body weight, strength, and body awareness. There are different types of Pilates, such as classical, modern, reformer, mat, and more. Although you do not need equipment to practice pilates, some basics (such as a yoga mat) are useful.
Similar to yoga, pilates can be practiced at home, outdoors, or (most popularly) at a studio. Depending on the type of pilates you are doing, you may need equipment. The risk of injury is very low as this type of workout can be tailored to your specific needs.