fitness training

Happy New Year!

Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to get in shape or lose weight. Some of us have said we are going to join a gym or maintain a regular exercise program. While we all have good intentions, it is sometimes difficult to achieve these goals because we don’t know where to begin. There are just so many options and facilities in our area to choose from. We will be doing a series of posts on fitness, including the five major types of Fitness Training, Martial Arts and Home Based Fitness Programs, to help you decide which fitness training program is for you.

This post on the five major types of fitness training is intended to help you sort through some of the many exercise options and facilities in our area and help you on your way toward your goal of getting or staying in shape in 2018. 



There are five major types of fitness training which include flexibility training, dynamic strength-training, static strength-training, aerobic exercise and circuit training. An ideal workout plan will incorporate all five of the training types, but keep in mind you do not have to incorporate all types at one time! You can add to your routine over time or switch things up as you go along.

Flexibility training is one of the most important types of fitness training because it provides a foundation for all your other exercise types. This type of training includes stretching exercises which reduce the risk of injury, improve flexibility and range of motion, and serve as a solid warm-up for more vigorous exercise. Flexibility training may include activities like pilates, yoga or Tai Chi. These activities are an excellent way to decrease stress, improve the way your body moves and improve your posture and breathing.  

  • Pilates is a system of exercises using special apparatus designed to improve physical strength, flexibility and posture, and enhance mental awareness.
  • Yoga is all about spiritual wellness and places an emphasis on stretching and meditation to strengthen and relax your muscles. There are a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals, and types of yoga include bikram, hatha and vinyasa.
  • Tai chi is a mind-body practice often used to enhance mental and physical health. Tai chi involves performing slow, graceful exercises that combine movement, meditation, and rhythmic breathing. Many practitioners use this technique to reduce stress, as well as improve posture, balance, flexibility, and strength. Tai chi is also said to boost mood, alleviate pain, strengthen the immune system, and improve heart health.


Facilities to consider for flexibility training:


Dynamic strength-training strengthens your muscles. This type of fitness training uses resistance to work your muscles through a completed motion, such as performing a bench press, leg press or situp. Weightlifting and calisthenics are examples of dynamic strength-training.

Static strength-training helps you to maintain muscle strength and tone. These activities involve contracting a muscle without moving any joints. Examples include holding a dumbbell steady with your arm fully extended outward or contracting your muscles with all your strength, such as pushing against an immovable object.

Options to consider for Dynamic and Static strength-training:


Aerobic fitness training strengthens your cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate and breathing. These exercises use large muscle groups to perform rhythmic actions for a sustained period of time. Zumba, swimming, spinning and SoulCycle are all examples of aerobic exercise.

  • Zumba is an aerobic routine inspired by Latin American dance, and participants perform while listening to Latin music.
  • Spinning is more intense than riding a stationary bike, and most indoor cycling classes last for 30-75 minute sessions. The intensity will vary throughout the class thanks to different body positions, pedal speeds, and resistance. The instructor will tell you when to change your settings so your ride feels like it would outdoors, including hill climbs, sprints, and coasting. In some special classes, the pedaling is even mixed with upper-body workouts, resistance bands, or a themed adventure.
  • Swimming is an activity that burns lots of calories, is easy on the joints, supports your weight, and builds muscular strength and endurance. It also improves cardiovascular fitness, cools and refreshes you in summer, and is one that you can do safely into old age.
  • SoulCycle is a 45-minute stationary cycling class that features a high-intensity cardio workout, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography.

Other examples of aerobic exercise include fast walking, hiking, jogging, running, stair steppers, elliptical, cross country skiing, and kickboxing, as well as many other activities.

Some places to consider for aerobic training:


Crossfit/Circuit training combines strength-training with aerobic exercise.

  • CrossFit is a fitness training program that builds strength and conditioning through extremely varied and challenging workouts.  This workout has a goal of building a body that’s capable of practically anything. This powerful, high-intensity workout program was formerly used to train soldiers, policemen, martial artists and professional athletes, and includes cardio, gymnastics and weight-lifting. A Kettlebell Workout is often included in this type of training. Kettlebells are huge cast iron balls with handles and their use as a workout device has gained a lot of popularity because of CrossFit training.
  • Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobics. It targets strength building or muscular endurance. An exercise “circuit” is one completion of all exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete, the first exercise is done again to begin the next circuit. Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with jogging to the next exercise. At individual stations, you perform different flexibility, dynamic, and static strength training exercises. By jogging between the stations, you maintain an elevated heart rate throughout the duration of the circuit. Typically, you perform each station for 30 to 60 seconds and continue the overall circuit for 30 to 60 minutes.


Some places to consider for CrossFit/Circuit training are:


Whatever you choose for your fitness training program, have fun doing it!


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