How To Choose The Right Workout For You — Advice From a Denver Fitness Influencer

You’ve been thinking about working out, but where to even begin? With social media trends, 30-day challenges and YouTube tutorials swarming the internet, how do you know what workout is really best for you? 

We asked Denver trainer and coach Tess Yancey to share her top eight tips for finding an exercise routine that inspires rather than intimidates.

  1. Create fitness goals. Identifying your goals clearly will help you build a clear path to why and how you’ll accomplish these goals.
  2. Choose exercises that you enjoy doing. Picking exercises that you enjoy doing is a great way to start a sustainable habit that you’ll actually have a great time doing regularly. 
  3. Identify which workout is best for weight loss. If you have goals of weight loss, muscle building or toning, it’s best to have a combination of (mostly) strength training and some cardiovascular exercises for conditioning. How you eat is also 90% of the game!
  4. Focus a workout routine on specific goals. As you begin losing weight or progressing on your fitness journey, you will likely come to a crossroads. One is “I’m about to reach my goal weight! I can be done with all this soon!” or “ I’m approaching my goal weight. What is my new body capable of?” People in the first group tend to backslide because temporary action equals temporary results. The reason the second group tends to do better is that there is a distinct mental shift — working out is no longer a means to an end but focusing on physical challenges rather than weight loss goals. Once you’re hooked, it’s just like playing a video game “one more level” aka “one more rep!” The less you worry about your weight and the more you worry about your performance, the more likely you’ll be to build a body that you’re physically and functionally proud of that’s permanent.
  5. Choose the exercises that best fit your lifestyle. Research workout programs that work in your life situation. For example, setting up a bodyweight workout routine if you train at home with no equipment or powerlifting at the local gym or running 5ks. 
  6. Set aside time every day. Really consider your lifestyle. When do you truly have time for a 40-minute workout? Schedule it on your calendar the week before and remember this isn’t a punishment, it’s your “me time!”
  7. Track the results of your workout plan. Here’s my checklist optimized for effortless awesomeness: happiness, and good nakedness! Strength train two to three times a week, do a fun activity one to two times per week, walk whenever you can and focus on your nutrition. Start there and then ask yourself two things. 1) Track your compliance to see if you actually did the workouts this week. If you did, great! Move to question two. If you didn’t, you learned you took on too much at this, give yourself grace, do less and repeat. 2) Measure if you got close to your goal weight/skills/physique. Are you healthier, happier and more confident? If yes, great! Keep doing what you’re doing! If not, great! That strategy didn’t work. Track your food intake, adjust your diet and repeat.  
  8. Join a class or social sports team, or hire a trainer or nutrition coach. Getting a support system in place and who you associate with is almost as important as how you train. As you improve at a skill, do whatever you can to hang out with people who are good at that skill. For example, want to get better at running? Join a running club. Want to take strength training more seriously? Hire a personal trainer or join a group powerlifting class. 

Visit Tess Yancey at or on IG @crushwithtess. Video by Christian Huerta, @christian.unlimited on Instagram.