Intensity is All Relative
by Corey Doggett
“Whoa! I can barely walk after yesterday’s leg workout!” On a scale of 1-10, just how intense are your workouts? While the extra focus from a trainer will ensure proper intensity levels, the question still remains.
From your heart rate to ‘feeling the burn,’ performing at the ideal intensity level will maximize results and lower risk of injury. If exercising at higher intensity levels with cardio, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, you should be paying attention to your heart rate, breathing and vision. When working with resistance, such as lifting with dumbbells, you should feel that ‘final burn’ in the last couple reps.
My advice is this: with high intensity cardio, take the occasional 15-second break to catch your breath and assess how you’re feeling. You should be breathing heavy but still able to catch your breath. If you’re seeing spots or feel like your heart is about to explode, it’s time to grab a water break and take it a little bit easier. With resistance exercises, use a weight/resistance where performing 10-12 reps gives you that noticeable muscle burn in the last 2-3 reps. The resistance guidelines will vary depending on the type of workouts you perform, but it’s a great foundation to start with.