Go hard or go home. Train Insane or remain the same. Those are a few of the Instagram quotes that we read everyday, so does that mean that every workout has to be crazy tough?
Here are five science backed ways to know you’re putting in the right kind of effort.
1 YOUR HEART RATE SAYS SO.
A good workout, by most definitions, involves a heart rate of 75% the maximal heart rate, sustained for 20 minutes (or longer).
2 YOU FEEL STRONGER IMMEDIATELY.
Maxing out and collapsing on the floor isn’t the goal of a good work out. The hard work and the toughness of a workout should translate to you feeling stronger and better - not beaten down. You’re at a point where you could max out, but you’re not quite there yet. You have to be honest with yourself, if you want to get the most out of your workout. Think of your workout on a scale of 1 - 10, a great workout means you should be hitting around level 8 or 9 of what your max is.
3 YOU RECOVER FROM INTENSE INTERVALS QUICKLY.
How quickly your heart rate recovers during the low intensity periods of your workout is pretty telling of how effective your training is. A healthy heart will recover at a quicker rate than one that is not healthy or not accustomed to regular exercise. If your heart rate drops down in one minute or less during rest periods, you’re on the right track.
4 YOU FELT CHALLENGED IN NEW WAYS.
Your goal is to work out at a level that feels challenging - it should be a struggle to stay on beat for those last 30 seconds. If you’re unsure try the talk test. If you’re working at a challenging level then it should be difficult to get a sentence out, if you’re gasping for air and can’t utter a word, pull back a little on the intensity. Remember no talking in class!
5 YOU BECOME MORE FOCUSED.
Experts agree that sweat sessions should give you a mental boost, not just a physical one. A sign of a good workout is when you walk out feeling better than you did walking in; that means feeling happier thanks to the endorphins and feeling more confident, focused and with a greater sense of clarity. The best part about all of this is the effect is immediate. Talk about instant gratification.