The Four Basic Types of Workouts

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said, “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless” (Ibn Majah). One of the reasons that good health is emphasized in our religion is because it helps us better perform worship and good deeds. The person who is healthy and strong is able to do more good than a person who is weak. When a person has good health, he/she should not waste it in doing things that bring no benefit. Good health is a form of blessing from Allah and we must do our best to take full advantage of it. This is why the the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in another hadith, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari).

There are many ways to stay in shape, however, many people do not really know how to workout properly. The first and foremost thing to remember is that your workout must be based on goals. What is your purpose for working out? Do you want to build strength, lose weight, remain as you are, etc.? Your end health goals will determine what type of workout is right for you.

I ordered a weight bench from Gold’s Gym and in the guide they had included the following four types of common workouts with a brief description for each. I am sharing it here for others benefit as well.

Muscle Building

In order to increase the size and strength of your muscles, you must push your muscles to a high percentage of their capacity. You must also progressively increase the intensity of your exercise so that your muscles will continually adapt and grow. Each individual exercise can be tailored to the proper intensity level by:

  • changing the amount of weight used
  • changing the number of repetitions or sets performed. (A “repetition” is one complete cycle of an exercise, such as one sit-up. A “set” is a series of repetitions performed consecutively.)

The proper amount of weight for each exercise depends upon the individual user. It is up to you to gauge your limits. Select the amount of weight that you think is right for you. Begin with 3 sets of 8 repetitions for each exercise that you perform. Rest for 3 minutes after each set.

When you can complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions without difficulty, increase the amount of weight.


To tone your muscles, you must push your muscles to a moderate percentage of their capacity. Select a moderate amount of weight and increase the number of repetitions in each set. Complete as many sets of 15 to 20 repetitions as possible without discomfort. Rest for 1 minute after each set. Work your muscles by completing more sets rather than by using high amounts of weight.

Weight Loss

To lose weight, use a low amount of weight and increase the number of repetitions in each set. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, resting for a maximum of 30 seconds between sets.

Cross Training

In the pursuit of a complete and well-balanced fitness program, many have found that cross training is the answer. An example of a balanced program is:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you plan weight training workouts.
  • Tuesday and Thursday, plan 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as cycling, running or swimming.
  • Rest from both weight training and aerobic exercise for at least one full day each week to give your body time to regenerate.

By combining weight training with aerobic exercise, you can reshape and strengthen your body, plus develop a stronger heart and lungs.

Source: Manuals Directory

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