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What Type of Workout is Best?

There's Zumba, PiYo, P90x, Beachbody, bootcamps, bodybuilding, powerlifting, personal training, circuit training, HIIT...and more.

They all boast similar results an reward but are different in their makeup, so which one is right for you? The answer isn't written in stone. Not one of these workout systems or classes is THE ONE unless you've tried them for yourself.

The best workout isn't the one that has the craziest transformation photos or testimonials of people losing the most weight. It's not the one that you see posted all over Facebook and Instagram either.

What works well for one person might not work for others. In considering what workout you're going to try, think of some of the major differences in both their makeup and yours.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. The first thing you should ask yourself is can you workout at home on your own. If the answer is yes, then online personal training or videos might be a great option. These home workouts take diligence and focus to get up and go do. If the answer is no, then you might be better off with something like personal training and a gym. If you need an appointment to get it done, a home workout or even just a gym might not cut it.

2. Are you self motivated? This one is important and has a few different meanings. If you're going to go to the gym and wander around for an hour, anything without a coach might not be a great choice for reaching your goals. Will you research plans or ways of doing things to help you reach your goals?

Second, do you like competition or being around others? If so, working out alone isn't going to keep you working towards a goal. You might fare better in a class or group setting.

3. What are your goals? Do you want to get faster, stronger, fitter, smaller? It's important to know the answers to these questions so you can find a program or type of workout that works best for you. For example, if you're looking to gain strength, a dance program might not be the most effective option.

4. Do you have any limitations? Do you have asthma? Are on medication? Can't move very well? Orthopedic issues such as knee pain or shoulder issues? Don't know correct form on many exercises? These are VERY important when it comes to choosing a program. If any of the things listed above speak to you, you many want to consider avoiding things like HIIT classes or bootcamps until your body is a bit more ready.

5. Do you have your nutrition/lifestyle down? If your nutrition and lifestyle is a perfect complement to your goal, then you might be able to do something a little less personal. If not, you might want to consider something where someone can assist you with these things to reach your goals on a trajectory you like.

Now, we'll offer some advice on three popular overall goals:

If you're looking to LOSE WEIGHT: Resistance training to build lean muscle, burn calories, keep bones/muscles healthy and strong. Compliment with cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, biking, swimming, etc. This can look like "bodybuilding" programs in which you work muscle groups

Personal Training, HIIT classes, bootcamps, circuit training and other classes/programs that include cardio + resistance training are the most effective when it comes to this goal. Consider the questions above, especially when it comes to limitations. Any orthopedic issues, asthma, lack of proper lifting form or physical limitations should be thought about before attending a class with lots of people where there may be jumping, fast weighted movements and other potential dangers.

If you're looking to GET STRONG: Resistance training! Consider working with a coach to begin following a body building program, powerlifting program or another strength type cycle to recruit maximum strength. When it comes to consistently getting stronger, there needs to be a lot of weight and volume progression and thought. While cardio is good for you, it won't help you get physically stronger so stick to things that provide you with an opportunity to recruit muscle growth.

If you're looking to HAVE BETTER ENDURANCE: This can actually be a combo of resistance training and cardio. Including lots of cardio, intervals, higher intensity exercise and resistance training can help you work up your endurance in a multitude of ways. Longer cardiovascular activities such as running/walking/hiking/biking are great for endurance building.


While we didn't get into specific programs/classes, know that there is no "best", you'll have to figure that out based on your goals, your ability and your own personal motivation. Fitness should always have some element of "fun" even if you don't always love it. Find something you enjoy and stick with it!

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