Which Training Style is Right For You?
Whether you’re just getting started with fitness or you’re looking for a new challenge, finding a training style that you enjoy is the first step to reaching your fitness goals!
Learn more about:
- Strength training
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- High-intensity circuit training (HICT)
- High-intensity strength training
- Low-intensity cardio
It’s so much easier to show up for your workouts when you love what you’re doing. That’s why finding the right training style is key to staying engaged and motivated with your workouts.
You can start by writing down what you want to achieve through fitness — then use this guide to help you choose which Sweat program might best to help you get there!
Training styles for all experience levels
As stated by the American College of Sports Medicine in the “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition”, it is recommended that all adults perform at least two non-consecutive days of muscle-strengthening activities each week for health benefits such as increased bone strength and muscular fitness.
In these guidelines, strength training is defined as any form of exercise that “make [your] muscles do more work than they are accustomed to doing” to help improve or maintain muscle strength. This could include using resistance bands, doing calisthenics using your bodyweight, or lifting weights.
Strength training engages the major muscle groups in your body in moderate to higher intensity full-body sessions, or it can employ training splits that target areas like the legs, hip back chest, abs, shoulders and arms.
It’s an ideal training style if you enjoy lifting weights in the gym and can complement cardio-based training styles making it a great option if your goal is to improve your overall health and fitness.
If you prefer to train with weights from home using home gym equipment, you can try Low Impact Strength with Kelsey, PWR at Home, Low Impact with Kayla, High Intensity with Kayla, and LIFTING at Home — or if you aren't confident with using weights, you can start your strength training journey with beginner-friendly Bodyweight Strength with Anissia Hughes or High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla.
Some of the Sweat programs contain a variety of training styles and techniques that include strength training, such as Chontel Duncan's FIERCE programs, Cass Olholm's High Intensity Strength programs and Strength & Cardio with Marilyn Rodriguez.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training can be done anywhere, using just your bodyweight. It’s a fantastic way to get an effective workout done in a short amount of time — and you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it.
This style of training often includes plyometrics and explosive exercises that get your heart rate up quickly.
If you are starting your fitness journey or haven’t done HIIT recently, you may need to slowly ease into higher intensity training as it can be challenging and requires a level of foundational strength and coordination.
For those who have an intermediate to advanced fitness level, you can try HIIT in Chontel’s FIERCE program, Full Body HIIT with Chontel, High Intensity Strength at Home with Cass, High Intensity Strength with Cass and HIIT Cardio & Abs with Kayla.
High-intensity circuit training (HICT)
High-intensity circuit training builds strength and can help to improve muscular fitness by combining resistance exercises that use your bodyweight or free weights, together with high-intensity movements.
As stated in an article published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, “the objective [of HICT] is to allow for a series of exercises to be performed in quick succession [...] and at a high-intensity with minimal rest between exercises.” Training this way may “deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs.”.
You’ll find high-intensity circuit training throughout High Intensity with Kayla Itsines (formerly BBG) and High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla (formerly BBG Zero Equipment). Both programs include beginner weeks to help you to build your foundational strength and fitness.
High-intensity strength training
Similar to HICT, High-intensity strength workouts utilise your bodyweight or weights as resistance and are combined with high-intensity exercises to build strength and muscular fitness.
High-intensity strength training differs from HICT as it includes a more varied training approach utilising techniques like AMRAP, Tabata and supersets to help increase muscle and endurance. You can train at home using equipment like a barbell, dumbbells or a medicine ball, or use larger equipment at the gym.
You’ll find high-intensity strength training in High Intensity Strength with Kayla (formerly BBG Stronger) and in Cass' High Intensity Strength programs.
This form of strength training combines elements of powerlifting and bodybuilding.
According to the International Powerlifting Federation, powerlifting focuses on measuring different areas of strength in three specific disciplines — the squat, bench press and deadlift.
The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness defines bodybuilding as a style of training to “develop all body parts and muscles to maximum size [...] in balance and harmony.”
Combining these two training styles may therefore help you to become stronger, lift heavier and increase muscle.
Powerbuilding workouts use gym equipment and a mixture of low repetition and high repetition exercises to build muscle strength and size. The workouts include primary movements which are your main lifts, followed by accessory movements that will help to add volume to your session.
If you want to try powerlifting, you can get started with Stephanie Sanzo’s BUILD program on Sweat.
Low-intensity cardio such as walking or jogging is a great way to start moving your body regularly when you first start working out. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), It provides health benefits like improving aerobic capacity if included in your fitness routine alongside other training styles at least once a week — even when you start to incorporate more intense workouts.
ACE states that while low-intensity cardio places less stress on your joints when combined with other training styles in a well-structured workout program, it is still an effective way to maximise the health benefits of enhanced aerobic capacity.
Low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio, means you are working out for a steady and sustained period and is one of two available cardio components provided alongside all the Sweat programs.
Other forms of low-intensity cardio you might try include cycling or swimming.
Almost anyone can try yoga — it can help improve your balance and flexibility, and according to Mayo Clinic in the US, yoga may also help to “reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.”
There are different yoga programs you can try on Sweat that focus on your mind and body connection through controlled breathing — some are faster paced Vinyasa styles of yoga, while others include relaxed Yin yoga and elements of meditation.
If you’re a beginner, Yoga with Phyllicia Bonanno is an accessible program that uses slower exercise sequences, giving you time to find stability in each pose or posture.
Pilates was first introduced in the 1920s by physical trainer Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate injured dancers and athletes. Today, the practice has been adapted as a training style to suit anyone who wants to improve their balance, strength and flexibility.
As stated by the Better Health Channel in Victoria, Australia, “Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced fashion” to help promote a range of health benefits including improved flexibility, core strength and full-body muscle definition.
Sweat’s Pilates with Sara Colquhoun program combines traditional and contemporary Pilates in a holistic approach to training. It challenges you by fatiguing specific muscle groups through time under tension with foundation weeks available if you are a Pilates beginner.
Barre can be a great option if you require low-impact exercises, but love variety and high-energy workouts. It is a hybrid training style that combines elements of ballet and Pilates, where you’ll learn to master foot positions and feel the burn with high repetitions using small weights.
Barre with Britany Williams classes are suitable for all experience levels to help improve muscular endurance, stabilisation and flexibility — and if you’re ready to take your barre journey to another level, you can step up your training with High Intensity Barre with Britany.
Try a new training style to discover workouts that you love!
You can use this guide to help you identify your perfect style of training if you’re just starting out with fitness.
If you’ve been working out for a while and are getting bored with your fitness routine, trying a new training style can help you to rediscover your love of exercise and make it easier to break through a workout plateau — you can even choose sessions from Sweat’s On Demand dashboard to complement other training styles.
With so many different options, you’re bound to find something you genuinely enjoy doing.
What training style do you want to try next? Comment below!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.