When you set a Lean Body Goal, the next step in achieving that goal is to plan how to get that physique of your dreams.

You’ve probably heard the advice from Stephen Covey – begin with the end in mind.

Dr. Covey used the image of getting a ladder to climb up to the top of a wall and then realizing you are on the wrong wall.

The same thing is true when working toward a Lean Body Goal.

Planning a Lean Body Goal

If you want a lean body, you must use some type of exercise on a regular basis.

Workouts are one of the key three actions – exercise, diet, and sleep – that shape the body you want to get.

One of the basic problems that prevent many people from shaping up or slimming down is that they fail to plan their workouts and visualize their exercise will affect their body.

Mindless exercise without planning will not bring you the best results.

Before you begin, make sure to take the time to consider what type of workout you need and how you will measure your progress.

One of the key components of an effective exercise program is the intensity of the workout.

Intensity is often measured by how “hard you work”, “how sweaty or hot you get”, or “how heavy the objects you push” when you go through a series of exercises.

What should you focus your attention on the high intensity or low intensity?

There are unique advantages to both high intensity and low-intensity workouts, depending on your fitness goals and your current physical condition.

To help you compare workout intensity levels, look at the following chart to determine where you want to focus on your fitness program.

Comparing High-Intensity and Low-Intensity Workouts

 Exercise FactorHigh-IntensityLow Intensity
Length of timeShortLonger
Level of Stress75% of maximum heartbeat50% of maximum heartbeat
Burn CaloriesFasterSlower
Burn Fat / Gain StrengthFasterSlower
Fitness level to startGood to Very GoodLow to Medium
More Likely for InjuryHigherLower
Types of ExercisesSprinting, Interval Training, Plyometrics, Intense Bodyweight exercisesWalking, Jogging, Water Aerobics, Simple cycling

High-Intensity Workouts

These exercises often are done in a short period of time, which benefits those in good health with a very busy schedule. Doing high-intensity exercises works your muscles, joints, lungs and circulatory system harder.

High-intensity exercises burn more calories quicker since your metabolism is working at a higher level. One of the advantages is that you burn more fat calories per minute than you would if you worked out with low-intensity exercises.

The disadvantages of high-intensity workouts are that you can risk injury or burnout from putting extra stress on your body.

Low-Intensity Workouts

These workouts offer helpful exercises to get lean, but it will take longer since the pace is slower.

There are many people who enjoy a slower pace and have the time to invest over a longer period. The exercises in a low-intensity workout are often much less stressful.

You can still burn fat with low-intensity workouts, it just takes longer, depending on your metabolism and what you eat. If you have an injury or medical condition, a low-intensity workout may be what the doctor ordered.

Remember that! Before you start any exercise program, check with your physician.

In some instances, models and professional fitness trainers try to lose that one last inch of fat without losing an inch of muscle. A high-intensity workout would affect their muscle mass, so they do low-intensity exercises to burn fat without reducing muscle.

What is Your Path to a Lean Body?

Can you handle the hard work of high-intensity workouts to burn fat and build muscle quickly?

Or are low intensity exercises all you can handle at the present? Just because you’re starting at low intensity now, you may be able to take on more as your fitness level improves.

Or do you want to mix it up?

If your normal exercise routine involves a high-intensity workout, you may have days when you don’t feel like a strenuous workout. That’s when the exercises of a low-intensity workout will are another way to get lean.

Whether you decide to use low or high-intensity exercises, remember to be consistent. Follow your routine on a regular basis to keep weight off, muscles firm and your body lean.