I feel like it’s an important question to ask yourself, and one that doesn’t often get asked in commercial gyms. Hence why you see a lot of people walking aimlessly in high-street gyms and paying membership fees, but not particularly using the gym or knowing what it is they want to do or achieve there.
And then there are age differences. Guys in their 20s will generally want to build muscle by hitting the weights because they are leaner and possess greater cardiovascular health than they will do in later years. Women in their 20s will either want to be toned and slim like fashion models or muscular and slim like fitness models. These goals will remain until mid 30s.
I believe a shift occurs for people after 35, as they are now more experienced in muscular terms but will also tend to gain more weight and more injuries. Therefore, they will want to slim down injury-free.
But where is the point where everybody meets in the middle? I would argue that training for muscular shape, cardio fitness and weight loss would all seek the effects of rehabilitative work, mobility work and postural work.
Why is this?
Because those three will help you attain the above typical goals long-term, with the best results. This combination is the most effective way to maintain and improve results while still feeling great and being more confident.
So, when you are next training solo or with a trainer ask yourself (or the other person) why are you doing the exercise you are doing? This self-awareness in the gym will help you holistically for the long term. If you are securing the best results, continue doing it, and if not find something or someone that will get you there!