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Top 4 Fitness Training Methods – Which One’s For Me?

A main reason that keeps people from engaging in a workout plan is simply due to lack of knowledge. They are eager to become more active but they don’t know how, or see people in the gym following strict schedules and routines and feel unprepared.

There are many different methods of training, and picking the right one can be a challenge. This article provides a summary of a few training methods people can implement into their fitness agenda.

What are the various training methods?

Aerobic Training

Probably the most recognized training method, aerobic training is more commonly known as cardio. This includes exercises such as walking, running, biking, and swimming. Aerobic training provides numerous benefits, like helping build endurance and burn calories. This training method is good for weight loss and athlete training. Also, many find it more relaxing than other forms of training, with lots of aerobic training done outdoors. 

There are two common forms of aerobic training. The first is continuous training, which is a method characterized with lower intensity but longer activities with little rest. Running at a consistent speed for long distances is the simplest form of continuous training. If you’re looking to burn calories and improve long-term endurance, this method is best.

Fartlek Training, Fitness Training Methods
The Fartlek Method can incorporate various terrains to run on

The other aerobic fitness method is called fartlek training. In this method, the speed and intensity of the workout are varied so that aerobic and anaerobic areas are targeted. A person using the fartlek method would mix sprinting, jogging, and walking, or they could alter terrain and elevation during runs to work different muscle groups. People like fartlek training because it’s engaging and mimics the flow of athletic competitions.

Here are examples of fartlek and continuous training workouts.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a fitness training method that requires alternating between several exercises targeting different muscle groups. There is limited rest involved— the idea being the fast pace between exercises adds a cardio element to the workout. In circuit training, its important to balance exercises so there’s no burn out. One muscle group is worked at a time, allowing the others to rest in between. Circuit training is beneficial for those looking for full body workouts that waste little time. 

Here is an example of a circuit training workout.

Fitness Training Methods, HIIT Training
Athletes work out using the Interval Training Method

Interval Training

Interval training has become popular in recent years with the rise of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-focused boutique studios, like Orangetheory.  Interval training is less about what you’re doing, and more about the intensity of what you’re doing. Periods of intense exercise are alternated with rest to provide an exercise that maximizes aerobic and anaerobic fitness. A simple example of interval training would be doing 30 seconds of burpees followed by 15 seconds of rest. The main benefits of interval training are weight loss, muscle definition, and increased metabolism.

Check out these examples of interval training – High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabatas.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility is vital to any active person, so some form of flexibility training should be incorporated into any fitness plan. Structured practices like yoga and pilates are increasingly popular. Stretching and flexibility training help increase mobility and range of motion, as well as improving balance and posture. For athletes, flexibility training is the best way to prevent injuries. Also, taking part in flexibility training, especially yoga, is relaxing and peaceful. Without attention to flexibility, all other training methods could result in muscle and joint pain.

Which fitness method should I use?

Reaching your fitness goals should not be impeded by a lack of knowledge. While this article provides a few fitness methods that can be used, there are many other methods and techniques available, like plyometrics, cross training, and resistance training. When it comes to staying fit and active, the exact method isn’t the most important thing. As long as you are doing some sort of physical activity and staying motivated, you are already on your way to achieving your goals!