Which Workout Is Most Effective?

Lifting weight at the gym

Hunter Bennett

What is the most effective workout?

This really is a bit of a loaded question – because, as with most things in the health and fitness industry, it depends.

You would be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who does not know that working out is good for them. Seriously, whether your goal revolves around weight loss, muscle gain, or you just want to improve your general health, then working out is a must.

But what becomes a little bit harder to distinguish is the type of workout you should undertake to best help you meet your goal.

There are literally thousands of different workouts available to you, all of which promise the world (google best workout and you will quickly see what I mean) – but unfortunately, only a select few really meet their lofty claims.

Which is exactly what this article aims to rectify.

What workout is the most effective for weight loss?

So, what are the most effective workouts to lose weight?

This is a tough question because there are several different workouts that have the potential to facilitate weight loss. This is because losing weight really comes down to your ability to manage one key factor:

Making sure that you expend more energy than you consume on a daily basis.hiit-feature

Consequently, the best weight loss workout is the one that causes you to burn the most amount of energy.

Related Article: The Best CrossFit Workouts For Cardio & Strength

What type of workout is best for weight loss?

With this goal in mind, the most effective weight loss workouts are those that combine weight training with high-intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short).

Weight training places the muscles under a huge amount of stress. This immediately causes a large increase in energy expenditure, while also promoting the development of lean muscle tissue – which over time can contribute to an increase in your metabolic rate (Lemmer, 2001).

Amazingly, each of these contributes to long term weight loss.

HIIT, on the other hand, is a type of exercise that has you performing short bouts of highly intense exercise, interspersed with short recovery periods.

This mode of exercise not only ensures you burn a huge amount of energy during the session but because it is so very intense, it also increases your energy expenditure for up to 72 hours after the sessions have been completed (Boutcher, 2010).

In short, HIIT alone is excellent for weight loss.

As I am sure you can imagine, combining these two amazing modalities of training into one single workout offers one of the most effective ways of promoting for weight loss on the planet (Sperlich, 2017).

So, if your goal is weight loss, workout plans such as CrossFit, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Orange Theory, are all fantastic option.

Example of an effective weight loss workout

While the modalities of exercise above are all great options, I wanted to give you an example of a HIIT-based weight training session that you can also do on your own to help promote some extra weight loss!

weight loss workout table
What workout is the most effective for muscle gain?

So, onto the most effective workouts for muscle gain.

When it comes to building muscle, you want a mode of exercise that specifically places the muscle tissue under a whole lot of stress. In doing so, you essentially tell the body that it needs to increase the size and strength of that muscle tissue to better cope with that stress.

This process should provide you with a bit of insight into what type of workouts will offer the most bang for your buck here.

What type of workout is best for muscle gain?

Considering the above, the most effective type of workout for muscle gain is unquestionably strength training.

Strength training (also commonly known as resistance training) is the perfect type of exercise if your goal is to place stress on your muscle tissue and stimulate some serious muscle growth.

Building on this notion a little further, strength training with this intent should include using some heavy loads with low reps, and some lighter loads for high reps. This will ensure that you apply both mechanical and metabolic stress to the muscle tissue – both of which are integral for maximizing muscle gain (Schoenfeld, 2010).

These types of workout tend to align with those that strength athletes and bodybuilders follow on a regular basis.

Example of an effective muscle gain workout

Using the above information, it becomes apparent that a combination of both heavy loaded and higher rep strength training is integral to maximizing your ability to build new muscle tissue.

With this in mind, I have put together a great workout that uses both of these key principles.

This training program has been separated into an upper body workout and a lower body workout. Each of these can be performed for two days per week, with 24-72 hours between each workout. For example, you might perform the lower body session on Monday and Thursday, and the Upper body session on Tuesday and Friday.

Muscle gain lower body workout tableMuscle gain upper body workout table

What workout is the most effective if you are short on time?

While I can certainly appreciate the desire to perform the perfect workout for your individual goal, sometimes it really isn’t feasible. Life gets in the way, time magically disappears, and simply getting to the gym can become quite the challenge.

Which is why coming up with a quick home workout that you can do at any time is a great option.

Related Article: A Short Workout Might Be All You Need

 What is the best short workout?Woman lifting weights

The best short workouts are those that combine HIIT with simple bodyweight exercises. This means that they are challenging and burn a whole heap of energy, but don’t actually require any special equipment.

Which basically means that you can do them easily and effectively, anywhere and at any time.

Moreover, because they are so very intense, they don’t require a large time commitment – making them the perfect workout if you are short on time. 

Example of an effective short home workout

Using the above principals, I have put together an example of a great short home workout that won’t take any longer than 30 minutes. Moreover, it is challenging, requires no equipment, and has the capacity to help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve health.

Really, what more could you want?Short at-home workout table

Take Home Message

If you have a specific training goal in mind, then it is always in your best interest to tailor your workout to best meet your wants and needs. This ultimately ensures that you get the best results you possibly can from your training.

With this in mind, I have gone ahead and outlined some of the most effective ways you can work out to boost your results. This also includes a great home workout that you can do if you aren’t able to make it into the gym.

So, what are you waiting for? Give them a go and let us know what you think!

References

Lemmer, J., et al. “Effect of strength training on resting metabolic rate and physical activity: age and gender comparisons.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 33.4 (2001): 532-541.

Boutcher, Stephen H. “High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss.” Journal of obesity 2011 (2010).

Sperlich, Billy, et al. “Functional high-intensity circuit training improves body composition, peak oxygen uptake, strength, and alters certain dimensions of quality of life in overweight women.” Frontiers in physiology 8 (2017): 172.

Schoenfeld, Brad J. “The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.10 (2010): 2857-2872.

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