Do you lack confidence when it comes to working out? Here's 3 types of strength workouts to try.

With this crazy year, I feel like there have been 2 distinct responses to how we’ve approached our health as a result:

Response 1: You’ve channeled the spare time, paid attention to, and taken steps forward in your fitness goals.​ ​

Or

Response 2: Despite best intentions, you’ve let things slide, been overwhelmed by #allthethings of 2020, and feel like you’ve lost momentum with your healthy routines.

Listen, if you’re number 2, hear me when I say that that is totally okay. You are not the only one. This year has been challenging for everyone, and how each of us has responded to that is nothing to be ashamed of. We live through it, and we learn from it.

Can I say though? It’s never too late to pick up where you left off. Ditch that all or none mentality that tells you you can't start until you’re 100% in and just take one, positive (and small) step forward. Right here, right now, I'm diving into 3 different workouts that you can try. Maybe this week, trying out one of these workouts is your next, small, step.

Single Exercise Workouts

With this type of workout, each exercise is completed separately. This means you would complete 1 set of X amount of reps and then rest. After this, you’d repeat the same exercise until you are finished with all of your sets for that exercise. Once completed, you’d move onto the next exercise.

Things to consider:

  • Typically, because you rest between each set and exercise, selecting 4-8 exercises allows for a sufficient workout without spending hours in the gym.

  • This type of workout is good for beginners who are just getting introduced to exercise, or for people who are looking to seriously increase their strength.

Benefits include:

  • You will get lots of rest. Also, there is an opportunity to focus on one exercise at a time which increases muscle memory from one set to the next.

  • Once you’re finished with one exercise and all of its sets, you’re done and don't have to think about it again. This can be enticing if there is an exercise you don’t particularly like or that you find difficult (but you know is good for you).

​ ​Some cons to consider:

  • Single exercise workouts can be time-consuming because you are resting in between every single set of every exercise, so if you have quite a few exercises you want to get through, combined with higher rep ranges, it adds up.

​ Superset Workouts

Supersets are designed to increase intensity without adding time by combining two exercises to be completed one after the other. Say for example you have 2 exercises listed together. You would complete each exercise back to back without taking rest. Once having completed both exercises, then you would rest. This would be considered 1 set of the superset.

Things to consider:

  • Normally, choosing 2-4 supersets within your workout allows you to cover a lot of territory in an efficient time frame.

  • Supersets are great for those looking to increase the intensity of their workout but are often short for time.

  • This is great for those who want to focus on a combination of movements or muscles while also allowing you to develop a blend of both strength and endurance.

​ ​Benefits include:

  • Supersets keep workouts interesting. Jumping from one exercise to another, with rest times low, pushes you to just focus on what’s next.

  • Allows for the diversity of exercises (you can pick a selection and pair them up however you like). This cut down a lot of time while still allowing you to include multiple exercises within a workout.

  • They are good for increasing overall caloric burn (heart rate stays up with less rest and multiple exercises) which can help improve weight loss.

​ ​Some cons to consider:

  • Supersets at times can make it easy to rush through a workout. When we lose our focus, we risk compromising form, which if we’re not careful, could lead to injury.

Circuit Workouts

Circuit workouts condense exercises to be back to back. In most cases you will have 3+ exercises, meaning you would complete each exercise back to back without taking any rest until the very end. This would be considered 1 set of the circuit.

Things to consider:

  • The nice thing about circuits is that you can do 1 large one, cover 4-5 exercises, and call it a day if you really want to. In most cases, 1-4 circuits within a workout (with anywhere from 3-8+ exercises per circuit) works well. Keep in mind, because you have a lot to keep track of, circuits work well for those who have some experience with exercise.

  • Also, for those who want to cover a bit of everything, but lack the time throughout the week, circuits provide a good bang for your buck.

  • Circuits are the very best way to maximize both strength and endurance. Most times, if you like using circuits, additional cardio is unnecessary.

Benefits include:

  • Circuits offer a challenge and are time-sensitive. Because you are combining multiple exercises, rest times are often prolonged and limited.

  • Circuits allow you to combine a variety of exercises that can increase interest and diversity within your workout.

  • What more, circuits are a great exercise option for weight loss. Due to the increased energy required by doing multiple exercises back to back, this keeps your heart rate up which improves overall caloric burn.

Some cons to consider:

  • Because you’ll be doing 3+ exercises at a time, you have to remember what comes next and keep track of exercises.

  • Circuits might be too much if you’re a beginner and feel too hard. You might get tired, compromise form, and risk hurting yourself.

Now I know this is a LOT of information, so why do you take a chunk, try it out, get a good grip on it, and then come back to this? Friend, you can do this. It doesn’t need to be intimidating, or overwhelming. Pick a few exercises you’re comfortable with and try out one of the strategies above. And as always, I’m here, just a 'comment' away if you need any help or have any questions.

To your success, Jenn

Ps. Want to get started with a small circuit? I've got you covered! Try this quad & glute focussed circuit I shared recently.