Which Type of Exerciser Are You?

After years of coaching, I have seen almost all types of gym goers.  Most everyone that I have seen fall into 1 of these 4 categories.  Which category do you fall into?  Which category would you want to be in?   

High consistency and low intensity:

     This person shows up 5 days per week.  This person completes the workout at a “slow and steady wins the race” pace regardless of the workout format or intent.  They move the same whether the workout is a 20 minute AMRAP or 3 sets of 4 minute AMRAPs with rest in between sets.  They dab a little sweat off their brow at the end of the workout and carry on with their day. 

Pros of this approach:

  1. Consistency is the most important principle. Showing up can be the hardest part.
  2. Will see great results in lower body fat in the long run. Years.
  3. Will feel great outside of the gym, very little if any exercise induced soreness.
  4. Will improve cardiovascular stamina and muscle endurance over a longer period of time.  Sometimes years.
  5. Less likely to injure themselves in the gym.

Cons of this approach:

  1. Will reach plateau’s on muscle development, and fat loss.
  2. Will see improvements in body composition very slowly.
  3. Can be difficult to continue to stay consistent with small gains.
  4. Less carry over to other physical activities.

Low consistency and high intensity:

     This is the person you see in the gym once or maybe twice a week at most.  They are always pushing the pace to maximum capacity.  They lay panting and out of breath in a puddle of their own sweat after every workout no matter the intended intensity explained by the coach.  This person always wants to lift the heaviest weights, and do the most advanced movements within a workout.

Pros of this approach:

  1. Could see fast results in work capacity and body composition.
  2. Will burn more calories with each workout session.

Cons of this approach:

  1. Likely to injure themselves while training.
  2. Likely to experience extreme exercise induced soreness.

Hi consistency and high intensity:

     This person is the culmination of the 2 listed above.  They never miss a session.  They may even attend a class 6 days per week.  They are always striving to hit the workout as hard as possible each and every time.  Their approach to every workout is the same, hard and fast.  They push the limits of what their bodies are capable of doing each and every session.

Pros of this approach

  1. Fast changes in body composition.
  2. Fast changes in aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  3. Adaptations in capability and strength can happen very quickly.

Cons of this approach:

  1. Burnout is a very real concern.
  2. In spite of efforts, can plateau in capacity and strength.
  3. High likelihood of injury.
  4. High levels of exercise induced muscle soreness. Not as high as the people that are less consistent.

High Consistency and Variable intensity:

     These are the people that show up to the gym regularly.  They typically train 3-5 sessions per week.  These people listen to the coach and try to focus on the intent of the day’s workout.  They know that each day the workout should feel differently.  Some workouts they are laid out on the floor after a high intensity bout and other days they are walking around feeling comfortable post workout.  They tend to only go to very high intensity 1 to maybe 2 days per week.

Pros to this approach:

  1. Very fast gains in both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  2. Very fast gains in body composition.
  3. Able to train consistently for years and years.
  4. Less likely to incur injury.

Cons to this approach:

  1. Exercise induced muscle soreness can occur.
  2. Jealousy from others, and the likelihood of them asking, “What is your secret?”

The true secret to getting the most out of your health and fitness journey is to show up consistently, change up the intensity of your workouts, and listen to your coach.  If you apply these principles to your training, you will be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. 

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