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March 7, 2016

Have you mastered the art of intensity

Intensity is an important part of your workout. But how do you know when it’s appropriate to increase the intensity so you’re getting the most benefit while still being efficient?

To increase your intensity is really about progression. You will want to apply intensity in the areas where you really want to see fitness improvement. With cardiovascular fitness, you will see progression in the increased speed or distance of travel.  In strength, applying further resistance so the muscle is challenged, then allowed to rest and recover, will create a greater intensity. This is usually accomplished through adding additional weight. Adding intensity with endurance involves adding more reps, which will increase your performance. And with muscle mass, increased intensity is achieved through greater volume, which should be added over time. A few areas where it does not make sense to increase intensity include mobility, balance, speed, and agility.

To evaluate whether you should increase intensity in your workout, the key is to benchmark yourself to get a clear picture of where you are right now from fitness perspective. Early on in your program, you may see great strength gains. Know that you can add incremental weights of two to five pounds over time and see progress.

Are you worried about overtraining? Your body actually gives you feedback to help prevent this. If you have much pain after a workout or feel weaker at your next performance, it may be an indication that you need more rest. If you’re not sleeping well, this may indicate that your body is not recovering well. Having blood work done is also a good way to get feedback on how your body is responding to your training.

With adding intensity, it’s important to remember to get plenty of rest and maintain your form. This will help in avoiding injury. Have a goal in mind of what you’d like to achieve and occasionally rotate your program to allow your body to destress. Following these steps will ensure that you are successfully able to master the art of intensity.

How much is enough?

The 80/20 rule

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music