How do you know if you’re getting the most out of your gym workout? Do you rely on how energized or tired you feel afterwards as a gauge for how well your gym workout went? Do you track your heart rate before, during and after your workouts to determine how hard you worked and at what intensity level?
These are just a few different ways that you can track how hard you are working out but to know whether or not you are getting the most out of your gym workout you need to look at your exercise routine as a whole and how it makes you feel in the long run, not just on the day to day. You may think that you’re giving it your all but you might be surprised to find that your workouts have become lackluster overtime and you need to kick it up a notch or two to see some real results.
Measure Your Gym Workout Over Time
The best way to measure how effective your workout sessions are is to look at the big picture, not just how you feel immediately afterwards. While your muscles may feel fatigued and your brain may feel energized after each workout you may not be working to your full potential. If that’s the case then you aren’t getting the best results that you could be getting and you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Check out the list below and see if any of these ring true to you. If they do, you might want to consider upping your intensity level because you probably aren’t getting the most out of your gym workout anymore.
Your Intensity Level Never Changes
Working at the same intensity level may be the reason behind your fitness plateau. If you aren’t switching up your workout routine or your intensity level on a regular basis your body may become accustomed to it and stops improving. On the other hand you may be working your body so hard everyday that you aren’t allowing time for muscle repair.
Rather than working at your max intensity everyday, you need to allow your body periods of rest during which your muscles can rest and repair themselves. Working with intensity intervals will allow you to reach your fitness goals faster because your muscles will not be fatigued at the beginning of each workout.
If your normal workout routine has no change in intensity there is a chance that your body has simply become accustomed to the amount of energy it needs to exert during a normal workout and is no longer being challenged. If this is the case you are wasting your time on workouts that are no longer providing you with results.
You Are Rarely (if ever) Out Of Breath
If you aren’t working out at an intensity level that makes your breathing strained then you aren’t working out hard enough to see any real results. Pushing your body to its limits is a good thing when it comes to physical fitness. Just make sure that you aren’t pushing yourself past your limits. That’s how you end up injured.
During a low intensity workout you may be able to sing a few verses of your favorite song. When you are exercising at a moderate intensity for your fitness level you should be able to talk but not sing. If you are working out at an high intensity level you may be able to say a few words but it will be unlikely that you can hold a conversation comfortably.
Ideally you want most of your exercises to fall into the moderate intensity level, with your rest days consisting of low intensity workouts and at least one workout per week ranking at a high intensity. Switching up your routine helps to guarantee muscle growth and an increase in your personal fitness levels.
You Don’t Feel Accomplished Anymore
Sometimes you can tell that you’ve had a good gym workout simply by the way you feel afterwards. When you feel exhilarated and excited that you were able to push through your last set or run through one more mile you know that you’ve pushed as hard as you could to and that makes you feel accomplished.
You may still feel accomplished after one gym workout that doesn’t push you to your limits if the majority of your previous workouts were high intensity. On the other hand, if you cannot remember the last time you left the gym feeling as though you pushed to improve upon your fitness goals, you probably aren’t getting the most out of your gym workouts as you could be.
Pushing yourself too hard can make you lose that accomplished feeling too. When you don’t add variety into your gym workout routine and instead consistently workout at a high intensity level you may not be able to lift as much, or run as long because you haven’t allowed enough of a resting period between workouts for your muscles to heal.
You Workout More Than Once Per Day
It is hard for some people to make it to the gym once per day while others prefer going more than once. If however you find yourself going to the gym more than once per day because you feel like you aren’t getting the results that you want from only going once per day then it’s important to take a closer look at your gym workouts to discover the underlying problem.
Perhaps you don’t feel like you worked hard enough during your first gym workout of the day so you think that adding in a second gym workout will supplement your results. In reality working out more than once per day could lead to stagnant results caused by overly fatigued muscles or even injury due to overworked muscles.
If you are working at an adequate intensity level you should only need to work out once per day to see and feel results. If you aren’t seeing the results that you want you should first attempt increasing your intensity level during your workout before you start adding additional workouts to your routine.
You Aren’t Staying Focused
One of the most effective ways of telling whether or not you are getting the most out of your gym workout is by measuring how focused you are in the middle of it. If you find that you are more interested in flipping through the channels of the television, finding your perfect workout playlist or taking a #fitspo selfie then you aren’t challenging yourself enough.
There is a difference between motivation that helps keep your mind off of the pain so that you can push harder through your next set, and distractions that make you forget that you’re in the gym and keep you from reaching your fitness potential. If you are going to watch tv or listen to music during your workouts make sure they are motivating you, not distracting you.
If you have difficulties staying focused during your gym workouts and find yourself paying more attention to your surroundings than to your workout session you might want to try taking your workout outside. Sometimes a change in your surroundings is all you need to re energize yourself and recenter your concentration back onto your fitness goals.
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