Updated: 2019, Jun 13

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Choose The Best Fitness Plan For you?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Figuring Out What Type of Fitness Plan

Many individuals select their fitness plans based off of what they hope to accomplish, what they enjoy, and what they are familiar with. For example, many middle-aged women are driven to find exercise programs that will help them to lose weight quickly without obtaining many new skills.

Zumba, cycling, and Pilates are all popular choices for such women. Unfortunately, choices like those may not be the most effective for each woman.

Choosing a fitness plan that works is a different process for every person. What works for one middle-aged woman may not be effective for another.

For a truly effective workout, every individual needs to understand what the different types of fitness are as well as the kinds of body types and diets that pair well with each form of exercise.

Types of Fitness

There are two basic classes of fitness. Each type of fitness has specific traits that differentiate from the others, but they all also overlap in some ways. For instance, every type of fitness involves movement and will increase the heart rate. That’s simply what exercise entails.
The key differences lie in how much energy is expelled and at what rate as well the form the type of fitness takes on.

Aerobic Exercise
To many people, the word “aerobic” is associated with the pool and the elderly. “Aerobic” actually just means “with oxygen.” To perform aerobic exercise, a person merely needs to be using oxygen to energize muscles as they move.

Aerobic Exercise

Significant traits of aerobic exercise include:

  • Sustained exercise that is steady over a period of time
  • Moderate exercise that elevates the heart rate but does not cause the heart to race or the person exercising to run out of breath
  • Fluid exercise that is not marked by bursts of intensity or energy
  • Continuous exercise is known for steady repetition

Popular examples of aerobic exercise are:

  • Running at a moderate pace (not sprinting)
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Bicycling

Anaerobic Exercise
In contrast to the “with oxygen” definition of aerobic, anaerobic exercise requires more oxygen than the body regularly takes in. When a person performs an anaerobic exercise, their heart races and they must take deeper, more frequent breaths. Rests are required throughout an anaerobic exercise.

To perform an anaerobic exercise, the body must break down more of the sugars and chemicals that muscles are composed of. Most anaerobic workouts are known for being exhausting, challenging, and intense.

For instance, common anaerobic routines include:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Sprinting
  • Plyometric Jumps
  • Fast-Paced Dancing
Anaerobic Exercise

Goal-Driven Exercises

Beyond the two main types of exercise, there are many subgroups that categorize forms of exercise based on the goal in mind. These subgroups of exercise each have benefits and disadvantages as well, and many are closely tied to body type. Most subtypes of exercise combine both aerobic and anaerobic routines.

  • Strength Training
    Based on the idea of breaking down and building up muscle, strength training is practiced by many athletes as well as by body-builders. There are several forms of strength training, including dynamic and static regimens. Some use free weights and others rely more on resistance, like TRX programs.
  • Flexibility Focused
    For the elderly or previously injured in particular, flexibility focused training involves exercises that strength the muscles. By loosening muscles and improving muscle control, flexibility-focused workouts often reduce the risk of injury and equip those performing it to live in less pain and with greater strength.
  • Endurance Workouts
    Many people find that while they are able to work out and enjoy exercise, they are easily tired out or feel weak before they finish their exercise routine. Endurance workouts focus on building up tolerance in the muscles for extended exercise as well as increasing the heart and lungs’ ability to sustain activity for longer periods of time.

Types of Bodies

Different body types react to exercise uniquely, affecting metabolism, muscle growth, and energy levels. Finding an effective workout consequently depends on identifying a body type correctly.

An ectomorph is a person with a fast metabolism who tends to appear very thin. Most ectomorphs are described as narrow and delicate. Some people might consider ectomorphs to be “boney” because of a fine, easy to notice frame.

Since this body type metabolizes nutrients quickly, little is stored up in the body to burn off. Ectomorphs can be strong, though. The trouble for many ectomorphs is gaining obvious muscle mass or finding enough energy to workout intensely.

Aerobic exercise is recommended for most ectomorphs because it burns off less energy at once. Plus, aerobic exercise uses oxygen to supply energy so less (non-existent) fat and excess is drawn up for energy.

The opposite of an ectomorph, an endomorph often has a slower metabolism and can appear curvy and thick. Easily gaining weight, endomorphs can easily obtain and maintain fatty deposits. The excess weight found on many ectomorphs is often the culprit of endomorphs feeling weak and tired –and consequently believing that they are simply not built for exercise.

In reality, endomorphs are able to exercise. Regular exercise can help endomorphs keep off those extra pounds that lead to lethargy. The stores of sugars and fats in endomorphs (especially any positive fats) are great sources of energy for anaerobic workouts.

A sort of middle-ground body type, a mesomorph is naturally lean and muscular, but not overly thin. Mesomorphs easily maintain their weight and tend to have the energy for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. With an easy-to-strengthen body, many mesomorphs enjoy weight or endurance training.

Choosing the Best Fitness Regimen

Of course, many people are a mix of mesomorph and either endo or ectomorph. Plus, body type can be greatly influenced by the diet. For example, a mesomorph who eats only fattening junk food may easily be mistaken for an endomorph.

A healthy combination of dieting and exercise should be selected for an individual hoping to get fit efficiently. Several factors must be considered as one chooses a plan, like:

  • Lifestyle – Ectomorphs who love fast food and sit behind a desk may actually benefit from some anaerobic exercises!
  • Age- body type still matters for seniors, but age can limit physical activity.
  • Physical Limitations -Iinjuries, illness, and much more can influence the choice of exercise.
  • Experience – Regardless of body type, when people begin exercising regularly for the first time or after years of weight gain and little movement, some forms of exercise may be too challenging to start with.
  • Gender – Women who are mesomorphs, for example, may not like the look of bulky muscles and might need to choose exercises accordingly.
  • Goals – An ectomorph who enjoys foot racing can perform an anaerobic exercise safely, but must diet appropriately.

Read Also: Exercise According To Age Group

No person’s body type must inescapably limit their ability to exercise and get fit. A multitude of exercise options are available. When combined with dieting that fits with a person’s metabolism, any person can gain muscles, appear lean, and have the energy to be active.

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