HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES
The Ins and Outs of Intensity
So many people go haphazardly through their workouts with really no rhyme or reason to what they are doing. They might have a vague goal such as weight loss, gaining strength, getting healthier or gaining endurance, but their workout schedule is not constructed optimally with their primary goal in mind.
Did you know that a proper workout plan not only calls for a certain number or various workout sessions each week, but it also should have prescribed and varied levels of intensity? You are not supposed to go all out each and every workout, nor should you coast all the time, not really pushing yourself. Intensity is a measurement of how much effort you’re putting into your sessions.
The number of high, medium and low intensity workouts you should perform each week will vary based on your age, experience with exercise, overall recovery ability, general health, injury status, goals, and also your personality type. Are you the type that likes to go hard or go home, or are you more the type that likes ‘slow and steady wins the race?’
Bodies respond best to variety and systemized progression. Both are essential to achieve the results you desire. Some people like to vary their progressions based on how they feel from session to session. Some prefer to vary their intensity based on a preset schedule (such as, Monday is hard day, Wednesday is medium, Thursday easy, Saturday hard). Either can work if it works with your personality and you stick with it. Personally, I like to loosely plan my workouts, but modify based on what my body is telling me. This requires you to be honest with yourself and take advantage when you feel good to really work hard.
It’s naturally easier to push yourself when you don’t have to work out alone. Whether you’re using a trainer, working out with a friend, or taking part in a group class, try to work out with someone else at least once in awhile. With the clients I see weekly, they can expect that their session with me is one of their hardest workouts in their week. We do that on purpose, and it’s OK for the on-your-own sessions to be a bit easier, as long as you are really pushing it at least once a week. If your effort level when you’re with the trainer is a 10, your other days should be 8’s or 9’s if you work out three times a week, and if you work out five times a week or more a couple of the sessions might be 5’s or 6’s.
You don’t need a trainer to work with you all the time to enjoy the benefits of a professional’s input into your routine. With just one session a good trainer can set you up for months with a plan.
Working out is much like a syllabus for a college course; there is a systemized plan behind the whole thing. You can view your workouts as a part of a bigger, master plan for a ‘semester’ such as a six month time period, and vary your intensity and focus within that to achieve your ultimate goal by the end.
This article was provided by Home Exercise Coach
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