Types of Workouts – Introduction
What different types of workouts can you do to change your physique?
A lot of beginners start working out because they dream of transforming their bodies.
They want to go from soft, weak, unfit, and overweight to lean, strong, and athletic.
Unfortunately, a lot of information on body transformations focuses almost entirely on the “before and after” part of the process and less on what you actually need to do to make radical changes to your body.
While looking at before and after photos can be motivating and inspiring, it’s rarely very informative.
After all, all those pictures tell you is how the subject looked then and now, not what they did to achieve their metamorphosis.
And speaking of changes, it’s important to stress that there are different types of body transformations.
For one person, a transformation could mean losing 100lbs and being able to walk 5k in under an hour.
For another, it could mean going from skinny to muscular and ripped.
Both examples have transformed themselves but will have used very different training and dietary strategies.
This calls into question the whole concept of body transformation.
A lot of fitness resources publish things like best transformation workouts or transformation diets, but this is really putting the cart before the horse.
What Is Your Body Transformation Goal?
You need to decide:
- a) where you currently are and
- b) where you want to go to choose the best workout program for your transformation.
Ultimately, your body adapts to whatever type of workout you do.
So, if you want to change your body a certain way, you must choose the right workout for your goal.
Picking a so-called transformation workout does not guarantee you’ll get the results you want, as it may be designed to achieve something entirely different.
Instead, you need to choose the best tool for the job and not change the job based on the tools you have available.
To that end, in this article, we’re going to explore five mighty (but very different) types of workouts, explaining how they affect your body.
That way, you’ll be able to choose the best one for your transformation goal.
5 Types of Workouts to Transform Your Body
While all of these workouts are different, each one has the potential to transform your body and improve your fitness and health.
Choose the one that best matches your fitness goals.
You may even want to combine a couple of different workouts to customize your body transformation, making your training more varied and interesting in the process.
#1. Strength training
Where cardio mainly challenges and develops your heart and lungs, strength training focuses more on your skeletal muscles.
Strength training increases muscle strength (obviously!) and can also build muscle mass, power, endurance, and even basic levels of cardiovascular fitness.
However, it’s not usually all that effective for burning calories.
There are several different strength training options, including:
- Free weights
- Resistance machines
- Resistance bands
- Bodyweight exercises (calisthenics)
- Circuit training
- Olympic weightlifting
- Functional training
It’s worth noting that while bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Olympic weightlifting are all forms of strength training, strength training doesn’t have to include any of these workouts.
Strength training can be very general and doesn’t have to involve extreme workout methods.
The Top 21 Strength Training Workouts
- 3×5 Workout: The Only Strength Training Program You’ll Ever Need + Free PDF
- Army PRT Exercises – Physical Readiness Training to Get Fit!
- Beginner Powerbuilding Program: Big & Strong Workout + Free PDF
- One Great Beginner Deadlift Workout Routine for Powerlifting & Fitness
- 12-Week Deadlift Program for Beginners in Fitness or Powerlifting
- How to Weight Lift for Weight Loss: A Plan That Works
- The Best Compound Exercises for Weight Loss + Workout Plan
- Phraks Greyskull LP Variant vs. Starting Strength vs. GSLP Workouts
- Strength Training for Men Over 50 + Full-Body Workout
- 5 Powerful Franco Columbu Workout Training Tips You Can Use
- 8-Week Bodybuilding Over 50 Workout Routine + Free PDF
- 5/3/1 for Beginners; Jim Wendler’s Classic Strength Program
- One Great Beginner Squat Workout Routine for Powerlifting and Fitness
- 11 Best Calisthenics Shoulder Exercises + Bodyweight Workout
- Best Beginner Powerlifting Program for Fitness and Strength
- 25 Best Konstantin Konstantinovs Deadlift Workout Routine Tips
- 10 Best Strength Exercises for Swimmers + Workout
- The Minimalist Training Home Workout for Strength & Fitness
- 7 Best Rob McElhenney Workout Routine Tips to Get Ripped
- 12-Week Body Transformation Workout Plan at Home
- 5-Day Strength Training Program Splits: Pros & Cons + Routines
Cardio is short for cardiovascular and refers to workouts and exercises that challenge and develop your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
Cardiovascular workouts are very good for your health, and most people tend to do them to burn fat and lose weight.
So, if you want to get leaner and fitter, cardio is the workout for you.
There are a couple of different cardio approaches to consider, including:
Short for Low-Intensity Steady State cardio, this type of workout is long, slow, and relatively easy.
Examples include brisk walking and jogging, distance cycling, swimming, and doing non-stop cardio on a machine, such as an elliptical, exercise bike, treadmill, or rower.
Short for High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT involves short periods of intense cardio alternated with low-intensity rests.
For example, cycle as fast as you can for 30 seconds, pedal slowly for 90 seconds, and repeat ten times.
HIIT workouts are shorter but more demanding than LISS workouts.
Group exercise classes
If you like to work with other people, group exercise classes will probably appeal to you.
There are many different options, including step aerobics, spinning, circuits, and dance-based classes like Zumba.
The only downside to group exercise classes is that workout times are on a fixed schedule, so you may not be able to exercise at your preferred time.
- 5 Cardio Workouts to Burn Fat in Only 12 Weeks
- 7 Best Cardio Exercises for Bad Knees + Low Impact Workout
- What is Fasted Cardio and 5 Benefits That Will Surprise You
- 5 Ways Cardiorespiratory Endurance Affects Physical Fitness
- How to Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Endurance and Life
Believe it or not, becoming more flexible and mobile can have a big impact on how you look and feel, which is the very definition of a transformation.
Poor posture, stiff joints, and tight muscles can affect how you move, sit, and stand – and not for the better!
Working on your flexibility and mobility means better posture, and better posture makes you instantly look younger and slimmer.
Think about an older person you know; they are probably a little hunched and have an uncertain gait.
Walking tall and moving smoothly will make you look and feel so much younger.
Good workouts for better flexibility and mobility include:
- Martial arts
#4. Balance training
Balance is your ability to keep your center of mass over your base of support.
In other words, it’s the skill of not falling over!
Balance is an often-overlooked aspect of fitness, but as you get older, it becomes more and more important.
Balance tends to degrade with age and, combined with a loss of strength and mobility, leads to an increased risk of suffering falls.
While better balance won’t have a huge impact on how you look, it could enhance your workout performance, so you get better results.
Also, improving and preserving your balance will help maintain your quality of life as you age.
Balance can be trained specifically, e.g., by using a balance ball or beam or taking up slacklining, or you can integrate it with other types of workouts.
For example, doing single-leg strength training will improve your balance, as will riding a mountain bike.
Simply brushing your teeth while standing on one leg is an easy way to improve your balance.
Do it daily for the best results.
#5. Stability training
Stability and balance are often confused, but they’re actually very different.
Balance is a neurological skill.
For example, you could balance on one leg and stop yourself from falling over by shifting your weight every time you wobble.
In contrast, stability is your ability to use your muscles to hold your limbs in a certain position.
So, while standing on one leg to develop your balance, your muscles contract to steady your supporting knee and hip, eliminating unwanted movement.
The best way to develop your stability is to challenge it.
Good options include:
- Single-limb strength training – especially free weight and bodyweight exercises
- Doing cardio on uneven surfaces, such as hiking, rucking, or trail running
So, Which Type of Workout Is Best?
Fitness experts love to argue about what is the best type of workout.
But the truth is, this sort of argument is like trying to compare wrenches to hammers.
Both are valuable tools, but the right one depends on the job you want to do.
Best of luck trying to undo a bolt with a hammer or drive in a nail with a wrench!
The best workout is the one that matches your goals.
After all, a workout is nothing but a vehicle for change, so you should use the one that will take you where you want to go.
So, if you want to lose weight and get fit, cardio is the way to do it.
But, if you want to build muscle and get stronger, strength training is your best bet.
Want to develop more flexibility and balance?
Yoga and Pilates are great options.
Need more stability?
We’re back to strength training!
Most people have more than one fitness goal and probably need to do several different workouts to get the results they want.
As weight loss and toning up are the most common workout objectives, your weekly transformation program could end up looking something like this:
- Monday: Strength training (whole body)
- Tuesday: Cardio (LISS)
- Wednesday: Strength training (whole body)
- Thursday: Cardio (HIIT)
- Friday: Strength training (whole body)
- Saturday: Cardio (LISS)
- Sunday: Rest
Include some single-limb strength training exercises to improve stability and get a good stretch after each workout to work on your flexibility and mobility, and all your training bases are covered.
Ultimately, any workout has the power to transform your body if you do it consistently and with sufficient intensity.
Therefore, you just need to choose the workout that best matches your transformational goals.
And Don’t Forget Nutrition!
It’s also important to stress that there is no such thing as a transformative diet or eating plan.
However, your diet must support your workouts.
In other words, it should provide the calories you need for energy and the nutrient you need for your health.
If you want to lose weight, you may need a little less to force your body to burn more fat for fuel, and if you’re going to build muscle, you may need to dial up your protein intake a little.
As your workout needs to match your fitness goal, so too must your diet.
If it doesn’t, you may find that your progress is slow or even non-existent.
But, combine an appropriate and sustainable diet with an enjoyable and consistent workout plan, and you really can transform your body!
Different Types of Workouts for the Body – Wrapping Up
So, it’s time to stop looking for the best body transformation program or diet and forget about the best transformation exercises.
These things really don’t exist.
Instead, decide how you want to change your body, and then choose the exercises, workout, and diet that match your personal goals.
In short, pick a fitness destination and then head for it.
With more focus and direction, you are much more likely to achieve the body transformation you want.