The Right Fit

Which Type of Fitness Workout is Right for You

Whether your new to fitness workouts or have been working out in one way or another for years many of us attain our workout routines by preference of what we enjoy the most along with suggestions and learning from others. From frequency to the type of workout to the category, we come up with a learned collection fitness activities and programs.

I am certain it is obvious that Men and Women have very different body types and physical make up and therefore should choose workouts accordingly. To take things further you really need to consider your own body type when deciding what exercises you should be doing.  Let’s consider fitness workouts for women; a women with naturally broad shoulders and decides on crossfit workouts that incorporates heavy weight lifting with military presses may find herself at a social event being mistaken for an ex linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals.  Essentially women body types can be classified into 4 body types:  curvy, lean, athletic, and pear.

fitness workoutsA curvy body type will have a larger bust line and wider hips as compared to their waist.  Focusing on shaping up your arms and legs with overall body tone will help complement your natural figure.  Curvy types tend to show more weight gain in the arms and legs when they are really just not tone. For weight lifting workouts, try a dumbbell press lunge. Start out standing with dumbbells in lower position and feet shoulder with a part. Then lunge with one leg so the other knee (lower) comes to the floor. Then with the forward leg stand up with simultaneously pressing the dumbbells upward. Repeat for the other side for one rep.  Try using weight that is appropriate for you to do 10-12 reps.  The goal here is to tone thighs, triceps and core. Triceps Extensions are a great way to tone and shape your arms. A dumbbell extension while lying on the bench does a nice job but add an upward bridge with each extension while lying on the floor. This will shape your arms while also toning your core.  Also incorporate leg raises and lateral step ups to tone thighs and core. Lateral step ups focus more on shaping the hips rather than emphasizing too much on the top of the thighs as standard step ups tend to do.   Cardio is essential for well rounded fitness workouts for women.  Try to stay away from cardio that can add bulk to your hips and thighs such as Stairmasters or elliptical on high settings. Keep the settings low and go for long intervals to really work the legs and develop overall tone. Running is also great for cardio and overall tone, however stay away from hills and step runs, keeping your legs fit and lean while developing cardio fitness.

Lean body types are similar to athletic types however have a difficult time adding curves. Focus should be paid to tightening the abs and obliques to accentuate the waist along with heavier weight lifting workouts.  Upper middle back exercises can help add shape to strait figures.  Seated lateral pull downs with reps of 8-10 and 2-3 sets can give dimension to your shoulders while widening the upper portion of your back. Try adding in a serious dumbbell press routine with 8-10 reps for 4 sets.  Having proper balance is important so be sure to add squats, lunges and leg lifts to achieve overall lean muscle growth.  With the lower body weight lifting workouts it’s a good idea to aim for 8-10 reps sets. The goal is muscle growth and adding shape to these areas.  For cardio, incorporate more power and intense type fitness workouts such as uphill tread mill and stair master or outdoor running up hills and stairs.

Athletic builds have a tendency to have broad shoulders and wider backs as compared to their hips and waist. Generally they have a lower body fat ratio than the curvy type and need to focus on overall toning and balance of upper body versus lower body.  Deep squats and lunges with low to medium reps will help in building lean muscle on the legs, core and hips. Try dumbbell twisting squats with appropriate weight for 10-12 reps and 3 sets in addition.  Alternating side lunges and dumbbell press lunges mentioned earlier are also great for building and shaping the core, and lower body.  Working in upper body exercises with triceps extensions and shoulder presses is appropriate, however keeping reps a little higher at 12-15 per set and moderate weight so as not to overbuild your upper body and maintain balance.

Pear shaped body types have a balance issues, however quite the opposite from the athletic body shape. Focus needs to be on developing and toning the core and upper body while trimming down the lower body.  Exercises to stay away from would be full squats, dumbbell lunges and heavy weight lifting workouts for legs. Instead focus on leaning exercises for the legs like forward and lateral lunges. Keep the reps higher at 12-15. Dumbbell press lunges are still in order here with the same 12-15 reps to achieve overall toning of your core, triceps and legs. Incorporate longer high intensity cardio with leg leaning and toning in mind. Running and indoor 45 min to hr workouts and avoid bicycling or hill running that could build leg size.

Mens Fitness Workouts

When it comes to mens fitness workouts, the rules don’t change all that much. With a few similar body types: lean, athletic, and pear, it still comes down to balance and what needs to be achieved.

Men with lean body types have difficulty adding muscle even though they may be balanced.  The goal here is to really focus on heavy weight lifting workouts. The rule of thumb when matching exercise reps with goals is to build lean muscle and get ripped using low weights and high reps (particularly on short muscle fibers like biceps and triceps) and to ad size and strength use high weight with low reps. With a lean body type it’s key to keep a routine with low weight and high reps. On occasion it can help to go with low reps on large fiber muscles like back and chest.  Abs are always a must to keep tone and typically respond to higher reps regardless of body type but keep in mind if you are looking to shape and have a thin waist and build that “V” look, than you may want to stay away from working the obliques.  Obliques are the sides of your abs and adding muscle growth will actually shape you with a larger waist line.

And you may have already guessed with a pair body shape, it best to focus on the lower body with high reps and high impact cardio. Focus lower reps on the upper body and tone your core as well. As mentioned earlier, exercises working the obliques could actually add to your waistline and I assure you it will not get rid of your love handles.  Focus on a solid abdominal routine with crunches and focus on keeping your hips forward and pull your belly button into your spine. Rather than a hard crunch, roll up slowly and roll down slowly. This will place less stress on your spine and concentrate the muscle fibers in your abs much better.

For the athletic type, it may be difficult to achieve balance with broad shoulders and small hips and lower body. Keep your shoulder and chest workouts with medium to high reps will really working muscle building low rep squats, lunges and leg curls. Keep your cardio workouts uphill, steps, higher setting on the Stairmaster, etc.  Incorporate bench jumps where you start standing and jump onto a bench without holding on to anything. This will increase speed and size in your thighs and enhance your other workout goals.