A few weeks ago, I wrote about the different energy systems within the body and the common terms discussed around aerobic training. Today I look into the many different types of training sessions available to you. Most people say they do not like exercise, yet most have tried hardly any of the variations. In my experience, most people enjoy exercise once they have developed a nice enough base level of fitness and then found the exercise type suited to them. 
It is important to note that exercise is really fun if you are quite fit, if you are not that fit, or carrying a fair few extra Kg’s then it can be quite hard to begin with. The good news is that the lower the level of your fitness, the less effort it takes to get your fitness up. While it takes more effort/specificity to make a fit person even fitter the good news is the exercise feels enjoyable at that point. It is important not to copy training approaches used by super fit exercise lovers if you are not there yet. 
I feel everyone should get there fitness to a nice base level as you will feel happier in life and everything will be easier from playing with the kids, to going on holiday. Once at this stage there are many different types of training, here are some of the most common ones. 

Anaerobic Training  

Very few people enjoy the full spectrum of anaerobic training options. The main types you can do include the following.  

Sprint Training – Involves short bursts of maximum effort followed by longer rest intervals, aimed at improving speed and power. This is not the same as a sprints session done as part of aerobic threshold training. There is much more rest and a totally different feeling involved.

Pure Strength training – Focuses on lifting heavy weights for a low number of repetitions to increase muscle strength and mass. This is weight lifting without the burn, it is a totally different feeling to typical weight workouts.

Power Training – Emphasizes explosive movements to develop speed, agility, and power, often incorporating plyometric exercises like jumps and sprints. If you ever seen a professional rugby gym video then you will see them mostly do this sort of lifting. It is fun and fast yet also doesn’t create that much of a burn.

Hypertrophy Training – Aims to induce muscle growth through moderate-weight, high-repetition exercises targeting specific muscle groups. This is the home of the bodybuilding burn, high effort and pain during each set.

Weight Lifting Classes – These classes typically incorporate a mix of strength and cardiovascular exercises using various equipment like dumbbells, barbells, and machines. Very few are genuinely anaerobic except say power lifting, Olympics lift or certain specific classes. This is because genuine weight lifting usually involves standing around for a fair while to recover which doesn’t fit a class format as well as aerobic style circuits. 

Aerobic Training 

There are various forms of aerobic exercise you could do, perhaps you are a runner, hill walker, boxer, cyclist, dancer, swimmer or more. Whatever form you enjoy the following sessions types can be used: 
The Long session – Typically involves sustained moderate-intensity exercise for an extended period, such as a long run or bike ride lasting over an hour.


Easy Session – A low-intensity workout aimed at promoting recovery or zone 2 heart rate training like the long session above but can be broken down into many smaller bouts of exercise.

Threshold Sessions – Workouts designed to improve your lactate threshold, typically involving sustained efforts at or near your anaerobic threshold, the point where lactic acid starts to increase. Workouts can also focus on Vo2 max improvements or exercise efficiency at certain speeds.

Circuit Training Classes – There are many versions to this from boxing to bootcamps. It is generally an exercise for a set time period before rotating to the next station.

Hiit – High-Intensity Interval Training involves alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and brief periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. Despite the common belief, these are mostly aerobic in nature albeit they are often above the lactate threshold and thus you feel the burn.

Theme Based Aerobic Circuits – (Hyrox, Cross Fit) – These are specialized aerobic workouts often incorporating a variety of functional movements and equipment which may involve strength training but are often aerobic based. 

What Does This Mean For You?

The above list is not exhaustive, I haven’t included flexibility based exercise nor covered where different sports fit upon the spectrum. I think it is important to understand that real world exercise works on the different areas simultaneously. Since doing Hyrox, which is mostly an aerobic event I have grown my glutes a fair bit as it has strength training interwoven within it. The same can be seen with the size of cyclists legs which is an aerobic sport also. 

The main take away should be that you probably will like certain feelings associated to exercise yet not like other feelings. The huge list of different training methods above should allow you to maximise what you like while minimising what you dislike. 

If you are not an exerciser then your first stage should be building a base in each area. When this is formed, this possibly intimidating exercise list above becomes something you could contemplate. You do not need to do any of the above of course, you could just feel great in life by having your bases fitness covered. 

Photo –  Some forms of exercise I have done over the years (Bodybuilding, rugby, samba dancing, football, Hyrox, Athletics 100-400m and American Football)  –


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