Sat. May 18th, 2024
fitness training

If you want to look good, lose weight or simply improve your health, have a toned, athletic figure – fitness training is what you need. How to choose a type of fitness for your goals and level of training, read our article.

Fitness training: definition, meaning, types

Fitness classes cannot be called sports. These are different realities. In sports, victories, records, medals, points come first. I would like to say that health comes second, but no. High performance sports are not about health at all.

Fitness training, on the contrary, is aimed at improving health, developing endurance, improving physical fitness and appearance. They do not pose any health risks. On the contrary, the loads are increased gradually and little by little in order to lose weight or improve fitness without harm to health. And if you break a record, then only your own.

Types of fitness training vary:

  • according to the method of energy production in the body – aerobic (energy production occurs with the participation of oxygen), anaerobic (without the participation of oxygen, muscle glycogen is used as fuel);
  • for specific tasks – weight loss, abs, muscle growth, etc.;
  • by methods/protocols (circular, HIIT, functional).

Popular trends and trends in fitness

There are more than hundreds of programs and directions in fitness. Programs with similar objectives and characteristics are combined into the following areas:

  • cardio training – strengthens the cardiovascular system, burns subcutaneous fat, develops endurance;
  • strength training  – promotes the growth of muscle mass and strength;
  • health fitness: stretching, stretching  – work on flexibility, plasticity;
  • functional exercises  – general strengthening, improve well-being;
  • Eastern practices  harmoniously develop both body and spirit.

This division is very arbitrary. There are more than a hundred trends and programs in fitness, the goals and methods of solving them intersect and it is impossible to clearly separate one from the other. Aerobic exercise is replaced by anaerobic exercise, yoga asanas are interspersed with basic fitness exercises. But one thing they definitely have in common is that all types of fitness training are aimed at improving physical fitness, improving health and well-being.

Features of each direction in fitness

It’s easier to decide on a direction if you know what each type of fitness is. 

Cardio training

As the name suggests, cardio exercises are aimed primarily at strengthening the cardiovascular system, and not at muscle growth. Calories are burned as a bonus and excess weight is lost. 

In order for the training to be effective and at the same time harmless to health, the pulse during training should be above the lower limit, but not exceed the upper limit. 

To find out your heart rate limits, subtract your age from 220. If you multiply the resulting number by 65%, you will get the lower limit of your heart rate. Multiply by 85% – the top one. 

Power training

Strength (or anaerobic) training is aimed at growing muscles and increasing their strength. For muscle growth to begin, the body needs a special hormonal signal. It can be given by:

  • single repetitions of near-limit weights (barbells, exercise machines);
  • repeated repetitions of exercises with your own body weight (push-ups, pull-ups). 

Training stimulates muscle growth, but the actual process occurs during rest. The body needs time to restore and heal microcracks in the muscles (they are inevitable with every workout). Restoration of damaged muscles occurs through the fusion of satellite cells (within muscle fibers) and the muscle fibers themselves. This increases the cross-sectional area of ​​the muscles, causing them to increase in volume – grow.

Between workouts for the same muscle groups there should be a rest of 2-3 days. Provided you alternate loads on only the upper or only the lower body, you can exercise every other day.  

Strength training + cardio = the shortest path to a slim figure

Cardio training “burns” fat directly during exercise, but does not affect fat consumption during rest. Strength training is not very effective in burning fat, but it does a good job of “stimulating” your metabolism at rest. Moreover, the more muscles, the higher the calorie consumption, since muscle tissue is the most energy-intensive.  

Interval training – ideal for muscle growth and weight loss

The principle of high-intensity fitness training is alternating strength and cardio exercises at clearly designated periods of time with short breaks. The classes are short, up to 30-35 minutes, but the effect is amazing: endurance increases, metabolism is activated, fat is burned, muscle mass increases. Of course, the muscles do not grow as intensely as as a result of strength training with heavy weights, but there is definitely an increase. And the acceleration of metabolism continues for another 36-48 hours after exercise.

Dance fitness

The workouts consist of a combination of choreographic elements and basic steps. The exercises are performed to energetic music. Calories are burned intensively and imperceptibly, mood improves, and psychological comfort increases. Weight is reduced and the heart muscle is strengthened. Flexibility and plasticity increase – muscles and ligaments become more elastic, and joints become more mobile. Posture improves, back pain caused by a sedentary lifestyle goes away.

Wellness fitness

Exercises work individual muscle groups and strengthen the body as a whole. Classes are held at a calm pace, without overload and stress. No sudden movements, explosive jumps and fatigue until you sweat. 

The workouts are ideal for those new to fitness, for those recovering from illness and injury, and for older people. 

Stretching

A program of exercises for stretching muscles, tendons, and joint mobility. Stretching exercises increase the flexibility of the spine and muscle elasticity. Relieves excessive tension in muscle tissue, which is especially important after strength training, when the muscles are “clogged.” At the same time, stretching does not load the cardiovascular system. Even in adulthood, quality stretching programs improve flexibility and mobility. 

Stretching exercises are included in many workout programs – as a warm-up and cool-down. 

Pilates

A health-improving system of exercises, some of which are taken from yoga and stretching. The exercises work the spine, develop strength, flexibility, endurance, and teach proper breathing. The emphasis in Pilates is not on the quantity of exercises, but on their quality. The pace of classes is slow, with concentration on sensations. Gentle practice can be practiced not only by healthy people, but also during the recovery period, as well as by pregnant women. 

Eastern practices

Fitness yoga

The system includes asanas, exercises for muscle groups combined with breathing exercises and the practice of conscious relaxation. Develops skills of psychological self-control and coping with stress. Stretching exercises, strengthening muscles and improving the condition of the spine heal and strengthen the body, but do not overload it. Calm, slow workouts are suitable even for those for whom cardio or strength training is contraindicated.

Functional training

In everyday life, we do not always use the muscles that we intensively load during training. Functional fitness training solves this problem. The exercises involve all muscle groups: not only superficial, but also deep, stabilizer muscles, small muscles that do not have time to work in training, but which do so much work in everyday life. As a result of regular functional training, everyday movements are easier for us, without tension. External and internal changes are a bonus: muscles are toned, excess weight is lost, the cardiovascular system is strengthened, and endurance increases. 

Functional training is suitable for everyone, even beginner fitness enthusiasts. Exercises can always be adjusted to your level – slow down the pace, reduce the number of repetitions.

Fitness training with a narrow focus

In addition to complex training, fitness classes are widespread that help solve specific problems. For example, strengthen your abs, pump up your buttocks, tone your upper body, get rid of cellulite. As a rule, such exercises do not take much time, but they help to get a load that specifically affects the target muscles and get the expected effect.

How to choose your fitness

If you haven’t done fitness training in your life yet, it’s never too late to start. Train at home, do exercises, lunges, squats. You can always set aside 10-30 minutes for your health. And in order not to get bored and load the body evenly, choose several areas of fitness and change them regularly. Different combinations give excellent results.

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