Three styles of fitness

By David Wojtkowski

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In general, there are three main styles of fitness: strengthening, bulking and toning.  One must train differently in terms of how much they eat, how much cardio they do, and how many reps they perform with what weight.

A rep, short for repetition, is one full motion of the exercise being completed.  For example, one rep on a bench press would consist of bringing the bar down then back up, counting as one rep. The higher the weight the fewer reps you will be able to perform and this affects how your muscles change.

Strengthening is about making the muscle stronger, which doesn’t necessarily mean bigger, but able to lift more weight.  The rep range for this style is two to six reps of very heavy weight.

Bulking is about making your muscles bigger.  The rep range for this style is six to 12 reps of moderate weight.  It is also important to be in a calorie surplus if you’re attempting to bulk up.  That means taking in more calories a day then you burn off. However, calories from things like potato chips and alcohol don’t count, as they are what are considered empty calories, or calories with no real nutritional significance.

Toning is about making the muscle more defined and lean.  The rep range for this style is 12 and up of lighter weight and you want to be in a calorie deficit for this style, burning off more calories than you take in.

The element of how much cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, is performed should differ depending on how you want to change your body.  While it may be helpful for trimming the fat, too much of it will affect your muscle growth. Keep your cardio sessions to a 20-minute maximum if you don’t want it to affect your muscle growth.  If your goal is to tone your muscles and lose body fat, then cardio should be more utilized in your routine.

Hopefully this article will help you reach your fitness goals, whether it be by strengthening, bulking or toning.

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