When it comes to achieving your personal fitness goals, what’s the workout intensity that will help you realize success? A lot of coaches and personal trainers may lead you to believe that the only way to get fit is through high-intensity workouts. And while it’s true that high-intensity workouts have a place in a well-designed program, pushing hard all the time is not the route to long-term, sustainable health.
Going hard in every single workout leads to a decrease in your fitness and performance. At the same time, if you work out without ever pushing yourself, you’ll also experience a fitness plateau and stop seeing results.
Once you’ve established your fitness goals, you need to figure out the workout intensity that will enable you to achieve your goals. And, you need to dose that workout intensity so that you don’t end up either over or undertrained. Working with a coach or personal trainer can help you with the programming piece of the equation.
Once you have a balanced workout program, you’ll next want to figure out if you’re working out at the appropriate intensity level. Here are three different ways to gauge your workout intensity:
1. The Talk Test
The talk test is the simplest way to get an estimate of your workout intensity. If you’re easily able to have a conversation while you’re working out, then your intensity is low. If you can talk, but only in short sentences, then your intensity is moderate. You’ll know when you’ve hit a high-intensity, anaerobic level when you’re so breathless that you can’t speak anymore.
2. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
Another way to gauge your intensity is by how you feel. Obviously, this is a subjective measure of your intensity. But it still gives you a good measure of a light, moderate, or high workout intensity. During a workout, you rate how hard you’re working on a numeric scale. The easiest scale to use is from 1 to 10, where one is like a walk in the park. A rating of a five would be a moderate intensity, and a ten would be the highest.
3. Heart Rate
Heart rate is the most objective way to measure your workout intensity. To use this method, you’ll either need a stopwatch or a device that measures your heart rate. Again, to zero in on the most appropriate workout intensity, as well as your goal heart rate for that intensity, it’s a good idea to work with a coach or personal trainer.
Kinetix in Rochester offers a balanced approach to intensity. Our programming is rooted in sound training principles and delivered in a fun, interactive, and supportive class environment. To learn more about how to get started, contact us today.