Different Types of Fitness Training

Fitness is something we all desire. However, the road to it is not the same for everyone. People all have different goals and requirements. In addition, doing one kind of exercise doesn’t guarantee overall fitness. Some people lift heavy objects on a regular basis but might not be able to bend over and touch their toes. Some people might be able to run miles without breaking a sweat, but not be able to lift a filled-up shopping bag without putting in a lot of effort. 

This isn’t to say that not working on your weaknesses makes you inadequate, but the benefits of training to overcome your physical shortcomings cannot be ignored. Doing so can also help in your main goal as well as your long-term fitness.

There are different ways to train for your goal but broadly they can be broken down into three categories; Aerobic exercise, Strength training, and flexibility training.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise, commonly known as cardio, is a type of exercise that increases the heart rate for extended periods of time. It involves activities such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, and cycling and hence is the most accessible form of exercise.

Cardio has many notable benefits, in both the short term and long term. Due to how much more it engages the heart than normal, it results in the cardiovascular system being healthier down the line. This helps in reducing blood pressure and improving circulation. It also reduces the risk of disease in the future. Cardio is also a go-to for people seeking weight loss, since it results in a relatively large amount of calories getting burnt in a single session, aiding their calorie deficits.

Cardio training is further classified into HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training), LISS(Low Intensity, Steady State), and Intervals training, which is a mix of the two.

A general recommendation for cardio is 30 minutes, 3-4 days a week.

Strength Training

Strength training consists of exercises that put stress on the muscles involved. It works on the principle of using motions with resistance to improve the duration for which muscles can work, the amount of resistance they can handle, and their size.

Strength training plays a huge role in the aesthetics of the body but there are still also some more subtle ways that it proves useful. Undertaking strength training increases muscle mass which results in an increase in one’s Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the amount of energy the body burns through the functions it performs. Hence it also proves a useful tool for weight loss, as it essentially acts as a way to passively burn more calories. Thus it is also a key player in sustained weight loss. Furthermore, strength training places stress on the bones as well, which increases their density, making them tougher. This also results in a lower risk of injury.

Some common forms of strength training include weight training, bodyweight exercises, and circuit training.

In general, people choosing to get into strength training are advised to exercise each muscle group at least twice a week, for 20-30 minutes to make gains.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility is one of the most underrated aspects of fitness training but is important all the same. It, like many other aspects of one’s physicality, can also be developed over time through exercises specifically for the purpose. 

Training your flexibility has a lot of benefits as well. It increases the freedom of movement of joints and tendons, which opens up a world of possibilities for the kind of activities you can do. In addition, it also reduces the risk of injury and has a hand in reducing post-workout soreness.

Some activities that are associated with flexibility training include Yoga, Pilates, and stretches.

 -Sridhar Iyer
Bsc. Economics (SY B.Sc.)

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