Are you working out consistently, without seeing the results you want? If so, it could be due to the intensity in which you work out. The truth is, not all workouts are created equal, so we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of how changing up your intensity leads to a powerful end result.
How Hard Should I Work Out?
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or add bulk, there’s a sweet spot for achieving results. However, the rule to progress is the same: low intensity exercise will increase the number of calories burned, while higher intensity workouts will increase your heart rate and burn fat to achieve results in record time. In order to reach your goals, we’ve come up with a fool-proof guide to get you there:
- Don’t focus on frequency, focus on intensity. It’s tempting to work out at a comfortable pace, but that will (unfortunately) only get you so far in your weight loss and/or fitness goals. Use heavy weights that you’re used to, and move from exercise to exercise with shorter rest periods. During each set, pause as you’re partially flexed, and hold that position for 2-3 seconds. Then, slowly finish the exercise until you’ve reached the starting position.
- Change up your routine and blast past your comfort zone. It’s natural to hit a plateau from time to time. The trick to overcoming it? Changing up your workout so your body is always challenged. If you hit the treadmill three times a week at a moderate pace, you won’t notice a change as quickly as if you incorporate a cardiovascular workout using different machines throughout the week.
Challenge yourself to a rowing competition with a buddy. Try a spin class and crank up the resistance. Try a BodyPump class. In this way, you’ll bypass the plateau, and see results in record time!
- Recover, and refuel. A high intensity workout can cause fatigue. Refueling your body with the proper carbs, protein and good fats will help your muscles to recover adequately. Without giving yourself the nutrients you need, you can enter what’s known as fatigue. Your body (not having enough nutrients to pull from) will cause cortisol, the stress hormone, to increase. This can hinder the muscle building process. In other words, failing to refuel can cause the opposite you want to happen!
In addition, if you don’t refuel with a healthy snack after your workout, it can cause your body to live in a state of inflammation and stress. Snack on hummus and pita bread, or turkey and cheese with apple slices. A nutrient packed snack will go a long way, for both your short and long-term goals!
Now that you have some actionable steps you can take to reach your goals, it’s time to act on them! Increasing your intensity isn’t easy, but doing so will increase your mental and physical strength – just what you need to get to where you want to be.