Are you getting the most from your workouts?
Big question, right?
I agree. But this is what I focus on with my clients!
If you are happy with your body composition and physique, then you are in maintenance mode. Honestly, you can maintain your status quo for workouts and achieve your goal of, well, keeping your body shape.
If you are looking to change your body composition and physique, then it's time to intensify your workouts.
Take a moment and think about your most recent training program, if you've had one. If you've been working out for more than 4 weeks and haven't seen any substantial changes in your body, your workouts may be too "easy."
Before we talk about workouts, let's define the word "easy." We will use the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) which is a scale of 1-10 to do so. A score of 1 on the RPE is like laying down at the beach. Pretty easy, right? Briskly walking or having an elevated heart rate but still able to talk to someone would be a rating of 5 on the RPE. While a 10 on the RPE would be compared to a full out sprint; you are at complete maximum intensity.
When I say that an exercise is easy, it's usually around a 5-6 on the RPE. For example, when you finish your set at the leg press machine, you might feel a little tired but you could probably have completed a few more repetitions. This is a great intensity for anyone in maintenance mode but it is not challenging enough for anyone who is looking to change their body.
When your set is complete, you should be reaching a 8-9 on the RPE. It should feel like you do NOT want to do one more repetition or it would be nearly impossible for you to do one more repetition.
Real talk for a second. I know that achieving this level of intensity on each exercise during workout is hard. Feeling that type of fatigue and a little pain in the body can be scary! It's not a natural habit to push your body this far. But it is truly the key to unlocking some serious results.
Let me tell you why....
If your body can complete all the repetitions in your workout without feeling challenged, it will say, "I have enough muscle mass to handle this so no need to gain!" And that is the last thing we want our body to do when we are in change mode.
In order to create muscle tissue and raise our metabolism, we have to push outside of our comfort zones. We have to hit that level of an 8-9 on the RPE. Anything less will have you in maintenance mode.
So how do reach that intensity?
Up your weights! And don't be worried about achieving a perfect 10 repetitions in a set. If you reach a 10 on the RPE after your sixth repetition and absolutely cannot do one more, then congrats! You are starting to change your body by working outside of where it feels comfortable. Maybe next week you can try for a seventh repetition.
The biggest challenge to overcome is feeling that intensity of an 8-9 out of 10.
Ways to know that you have truly achieved an 8-9:
-are you out of breath?
-are you sure you cannot do one more repetition?
-is your heart rate elevated?
-do you need to take a break before completing another set?
Now that you know how to make the most of your workouts, get to it! Grab a heavier set of dumbbells, throw an extra plate on that barbell or go up in weight on that machine. You got this!
Or contact me and I will help you discover the correct weight to help fuel your results!
Thank you for reading and please share with someone else who needs to get the most of their workouts!