10 types of workout formats
To keep things interesting, I like to use a different workout format each time I exercise throughout the week. By doing so, I feel that my body is being challenged in a variety of ways, sometimes focusing more on strength; other times testing my cardio, recovery or ability to push that extra bit more.
The following are 10 different workout formats that I like to use:
1. Circuit Training. With this type of workout, do 15-20 reps at a moderately fast tempo of 4-6 full body exercises. Do each, one after the other, with little rest in between (20-30 seconds). I will typically do 3-6 circuits.
2. Pyramid. I do this a few different ways. a) Ascending pyramid: Start with low reps then increase the number of reps each set (Note: I sometimes also increase weights or resistance along with this) b) Descending pyramid: Start with high reps then decrease the number of reps each set. c) Triangle pyramid: A combination of both. Increase the number of reps for each exercise up to a set number then decrease the number of reps back down.
3. HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. This is one of my favorites! To do this type of workout, I choose a number of exercises (I usually do 4-6) that are completed by doing as many reps as possible in a set time followed by a short rest before moving on to the next exercise. The work/rest ratios I typically us are 50/10 (50 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest), 45/15 or 30/30.
4. AMRAP – As Many Reps As Possible. To do this workout, I choose 4-6 exercises with a set number of reps that I will do as a circuit. I set my timer for 20-30 minutes then complete as many circuits as I can in that amount of time.
5. Tabata. Like HIIT, this type of workout is done by time. The difference is that the exercise is done for a very short amount of time followed by a short rest then repeated again for another 5 sets using the same format before moving onto the next exercise. I again choose 4-6 exercises. The amount of time is 20 seconds of work; 10 seconds of rest.
6. Supersets. Pairs of exercises that are done back-to-back before moving on to the next pair of exercises. I may only do one pair of exercises that I will repeat with a rest time in between (30-60 seconds) each set or I may do several pairs of exercises that I will do as a circuit with rest times in between each pair of exercises.
7. EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute. Choose an exercise and complete a specific number of reps every minute on the minute for a predetermined number of sets. So, if you are able to complete your set within the first 10 seconds of the minute, you have 50 seconds to rest. This gets harder as the sets go on.
8. Add-on. Each set, add on another exercise to the one that has just been done. For instance, set 1 is exercise A; set 2 is exercise A+B; set 3 is exercise A+B+C; etc. I do up to 6 exercises. Once all exercises are done, I then start with the last exercise and follow the same formate adding on the previous exercises.
9. Challenge. For this type of workout, choose one or more exercises where the goal is to complete a very high number of reps in no fixed time.
10. 5 x 5 Strength training. Choose 4-6 simple exercises using heavy weights or high resistance. Do 5 sets of 5 reps with as heavy a weight (resistance) as you can handle for that exercise and rest for 45-60 seconds after each set before moving onto the next exercise.
Grab your kettle bell and try this AMRAP workout:
- 20 figure 8 squats
- 10 Cross over Push up x2 / one-arm row
- 5/side Partial TGU
- 10 Dive bomber squat thrusts / KB swing
- 5/side forward and back lunges
Set your timer for 25 minutes. Complete the above circuit as many times as you can.