Skip to main content

Use your fitness goals to tailor your workout

A man doing lunges off of a bench.
A man doing lunges off of a bench.

Once you’ve defined exactly what it is you are after, it makes it much easier to figure out how to reach your fitness goals. Repetitions and sets will vary depending on your goals whether you’re after strength, definition, overall fat loss or muscle development for particular muscles. For example, power lifters and people after pure strength and power usually keep their repetitions under 10 reps and take full recovery between sets. Full recovery for most is considered to be around 3-5 minutes. This style of training is completely different and practically useless for someone more concerned with overall fat loss and toning.

Exercising for fat loss and a more tone body requires a much higher workout tempo. This means repetitions should be much higher and rest between sets should be minimized. Doing so will help keep your heart rate elevated throughout your workout and will also help to improve your level of cardio.

One of the many misconceptions regarding fat loss and body toning is the ability to lose fat in one particular area. If one of the areas your body stores fat is in your arms, doing bicep curls religiously along with tricep pushdowns or kickbacks won’t necessarily be the best solution.  You would actually be better off targeting large muscles and doing exercises that work multiple muscles at one time, like squats or pushups.  Exercises that isolate smaller muscles burn a lot less calories than exercises that target the larger muscles.

The key is to find exercises that tax your muscles enough to force them to pull from your fat storage for energy. This is why it is essential to try and keep your heart around a cardio level for the duration of your workout. The cardio level will vary depending on the individual, but maintaining that level is equally important to everyone with fat loss and body toning goals.