It goes without saying that we all come in myriad shapes and sizes. We’re all unique and individual, and that’s what makes each and every human so special. 

But enough of that Kumbayah stuff. Though comfort in one’s skin is, of course, a wonderful place to be in, many of us simply don’t feel satisfied with the way we look. When this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a change, whether it’s for purposes of health, fitness or even working out to help build self-esteem. 

And it’s because we all have different physiques, statures and fitness levels that those shape-changing exercise routines will need to take on a different look and level of intensity, tailor-made to suit each individual and their specific needs. This is often best designed by the professionals, but sometimes, financial or time constraints prevent access to a personal trainer. In those instances, here’s how to design the IDEAL exercise routine for yourself. 

DIFFERENT TYPES, DIFFERENT GOALS

It’s just not realistic to expect that you can implement the same type of exercise to every physical goal that you set for yourself. While some types of exercises, like cardio, for instance, are designed to kick your heart rate up a notch and have you burning calories, this is not something that you want if you are looking to bulk up. Not only that, but the type of exercise and the number of reps matter too, as well as the time between reps spent resting and more. 

So on that note, let’s divide things up into the most common exercise goals and the best workout regimes associated with them…

LOSE WEIGHT

If you want to lose weight, you are best off looking into cardio routines as a matter of priority. The most on-trend cardio discipline right now is High Intensity Interval Training. These routines usually comprise exercises that will continuously keep you on the move and in motion, and are done in multiple rounds consisting of a 10-second break and a 20-second or more burst of super trying exercise.

The most common exercises in HIIT tend to target as many muscle groups as possible simultaneously. For instance, you’ll start with jumping jacks, and exercises that activate your core like planks, chest and arm exercises like push-ups, abs exercises, and finally squats to work your legs. These routines usually last for around 20-30 minutes per day in total, which is ideal if you’re looking to shed a few pounds without taking long runs daily which tends to eat into your time considerably.

BUILD MUSCLE

If your goal is to bulk up and build muscle, you will probably want to stay away from high-intensity training, since you don’t want to lose your weight. On the contrary, you want to gain. While training routines that are intended to help you lose weight can be done pretty much everywhere and don’t necessarily require all that much equipment, routines intended for muscle gain are better off done in the gym, or at home but with proper specialized equipment.

The reason for this is that in order for your muscle groups to grow, it is not enough only to do regular push-ups and work on your biceps and chest; it’s better and more sustainable to focus on achieving a certain sense of balance and equilibrium by working on your triceps and back, too, avoiding disproportionate gains or worse, injury. For reliable info on useful equipment, check reputable fitness magazines online or consult an assistant in the gym. It is also worth mentioning that if you want to work on building up your mass, your diet is just as crucial as your exercise regime.

THINK OF IT AS A HOBBY 

If you are going to start exercising because you want to be generally healthier, you probably don’t need high-intensity training or obsessive bodybuilding to achieve that. In fact, if you take pleasure in exercise and don’t necessarily treat it with goal orientation in mind, you might actually find you get more out of your workouts.

For hobbyists, consider daily jogs, yoga, or even a simple stroll each morning. This wholesome, gentle approach is ideal for those looking to enjoy the mental health benefits of exercise but aren’t so concerned about a particular target being reached.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The exercise plan you pen for yourself should be largely dependent on the goals you have in mind. Should you be hoping to shed a couple of pounds, then cardio, aerobic and high intensity interval training are best. If you’re focused on getting stacked, gym equipment and free weights are a better bet. 

That said, diet and enjoyment also play a huge part in developing a fitness plan you actually stick to. Check out our tips on maximising the effectiveness of your workout for more get-fit inspiration.