From CrossFit to F45, each training method has its own specific benefits. But which one should you choose? We help you match your fitness goals - depending on your fitness level (if you're a beginner, intermediate or in an advanced level) to the training methods that will help you achieve them.
CrossFit uses a smorgasbord of exercises, from Olympic weightlifting to gymnastics. "It's like the jack of all trades training method. You work your whole body and see improvements in strength, speed, balance, endurance and overall athleticism, but not rapid weight loss or benefits in one particular physical trait over the other," Performance Personal Training personal trainer Sean O'Shea said.
O'Shea said CrossFit exercises suit those looking to work on their strength and conditioning, and are typified by exercises such as the following:
- Beginner: Learn how to do squats and push-ups. Add in ring rows after several sessions
- Intermediate: 2 sets of 6 reps for back squats, front squats and overhead presses
- Advanced: 2 sets of 5 reps for back squats, front squats and overhead presses *increased weight
F45 fuses High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training and Functional Training. "It's highly effective at burning fat and building lean muscle," Bronte Blueys personal trainer Katie Remond said.
"The team training is a big confidence boost. Classes last 45 minutes and you complete circuit intervals in 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest, so it's great if you're time poor. But it's not ideal if you need individual trainer instruction."
F45 is mainly targeted at those interested in weight loss, and have the ability to handle high-energy, breathless sessions.
Remond explained that typical F45 workouts include exercises like the following:
- Beginner: 5 box jumps, 40 rope slams and 5 chin-ups in your circuit
- Intermediate: 7 box jumps, 4 deadlifts, 60 rope slams and 7 chin-ups in your circuit
- Advanced: 10 box jumps, 4 deadlifts, 80 rope slams and 7 chin-ups in your circuit
Mostly done outdoors in nature, this method invigorates your mind and body. It involves running (often stair running and sprints), weights, abs and sometimes swimming. "It's highly social and a big confidence lifter, but you also develop excellent aerobic fitness and tone up your core," Remond said. On the flipside, you'll need more time for your workout than F45.
Bootcamps are ideal for those who want to work on muscle toning, aerobic endurance, weight loss and long-term fitness.
Remond said you can expect to perform exercises like the following in a typical bootcamp training session:
- Beginner: Run the first set of stairs and walk the second. Perform 8 push-ups and 8 sit-ups in 30 seconds
- Intermediate: Run the first set of stairs and walk the second. Perform 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups in 30 seconds
- Advanced: Run the first set of stairs and walk the second. Perform 12 push-ups and 12 sit-ups in 30 seconds
Strength training fires up your metabolic rate and builds lean muscle mass. "[When] you have more lean muscle mass and less fat you burn more calories even at rest," Move Your Weight personal trainer and strength coach Alicia Fistonich explained.
"Strength training also boosts mental acuity, improves cardiovascular fitness and decreases your risk of stroke and heart disease."
Strength training is most suited for those who want to tone themselves, improve muscle strength, increase muscle-to-fat ratio and protect joints from injury.
Fistonich recommends leg presses and bench presses as powerful exercises for building lean muscle mass. Include these in your next workout:
- Beginner: 3 sets of 12 reps for both the leg press and bench press (moderate weight)
- Intermediate: 3 sets of 8 reps for both the leg press and bench press (heavy weight)
- Advanced: 3 sets of 4 reps for both the leg press and bench press (maximum weight)
This is the latest craze in the fitness industry, backed by research. "Studies show that HIIT is more effective at burning calories than low or moderate intensity workouts," O'Shea said. In HIIT, you perform an intense bout of exercise, raising your heart rate to near maximum, followed by a short rest.
If burning more calories in less time appeals to you and weight loss is one of your main goals, HIIT is a great option.
O'Shea suggested to structure a HIIT session like the following:
- Beginner: 30 seconds of exercise at 70 per cent intensity followed by 2 mins of rest
- Intermediate: 45 seconds of exercise at 80 per cent intensity followed by 1:30 min of rest
- Advanced: 1 min of exercise at 80 per cent intensity followed by 1 min rest.