If there’s one area that people don’t get quite right in the gym, it’s the overall intensity of their workouts. But does that mean that every workout should be brutally hard and always leave you feeling drained, destroyed and exhausted for maximum effectiveness?
Have you been ‘ticking along’ every workout
If you hit the gym time and time again, doing the same old routine week after week after week and satisfied with the fact that you’ve ‘at least been‘…then the chances are you could massively benefit from a few more intense workouts to shake things up a bit. In order for your body to change it has to adapt to a new stimulus…new muscular damage, new tension, new reps, new exercises, new weights etc…so if you’re honest with yourself and feel like you’re just on auto-pilot…schedule in some more intense workouts through the week where you REALLY push yourself.
How’s your diet?
If you’re committed and consistent with your gym visits, yet you still eat whatever you want and don’t really dial in your diet, then the chances are that constant harsh workouts aren’t the answer. Your diet is not only your fuel, but also your recovery protocol from workouts too. If you’re not recovering correctly workout to workout, then beating up your body constantly will only lead to more soreness, possible overtraining or even injuries.
How gym-experienced are you?
A beginner really shouldn’t be throwing too much too soon too often when it comes the gym. The body needs time to adapt to new things so if that’s you, then look to ease yourself in a little slower. More experienced gym-goers can get away with intensity as their body is simply used to it. Just pay particular interest in how you’re recovering and how you’re feeling week to week to decide how hard you should be going. Not every workout has to be a marathon of intensity or a hunt for a new personal best with weights. Progress can can take time with consistency so allow that build up over time, not just over-night.
What’s your goal?
If you’re training to build muscle for example, then yes…progressive overload over time is your goal. Always looking to stimulate your muscles in new ways or with differing intensity, just make sure to recover well too (you grow on your days off). If your goal is simply wellbeing, or fitness or to drop a few lbs here and there…then you absolutely do not have to go and destroy yourself every workout. Take a marathon runner…a super intense sport…but even these athletes don’t train super super hard, going for new best times every single workout. They train effectively and smartly…listening to their body and learning when to increase or decrease the intensity.
All in all…training like an absolute beast every workout is NOT essential to achieve great results. You should always be pushing yourself hard, but in a controlled and progressive way. We’re all totally different to one another, so workout hard, recover hard, hydrate well and aim to eat better. The gym isn’t a sprint for overnight results!