Yesterday I was for a walk in the park with my best friend, who is a professional basketball player! She was telling me about her new team and her coach, as well as for the upcoming conditioning. She told me how her coach, explained how there are two girls on the team who spend ALL DAY LONG in the gym and they actually work out!
Shocking! This is a BIG,BIG mistake that most people do- Lack of intensity in workouts! If your workouts have enough intensity, you won’t need to spend way too much time in the gym and I guarantee you that you won’t have the strength to train longer. Fortunately, lately more people who work out, realize that “more” doesn’t always mean “better”. This is so true for workouts! Longer training sessions aren’t an equivalent to more effective workouts!
Let’s first find out what intensity means. There are a lot of definitions for intensity but the most accurate in my opinion is the degree of effort that you put in each set of your workout in relation to your maximal capability for a particular movement. In the gym that would mean the per cent of your 1RM, i.e. 1RM=100kg, and 90% intensity will be equal to 90kg. The closer you are to the 1RM, the higher the intensity!
On a daily basis I see people, who go in the gym and lift weights, that are way too light and thus they work out with low intensity. A lot of people think that an intense workout means a workout that “makes you sweat a lot”. Whenever some of my group clients, picks up a dumbbell that is too light for them, I immediately encourage them to take a heavier one. It is way more effective to work out with less reps and bigger weights, than more reps and lighter weights.
Of course, when you choose the weight you need to be thinking for your technique(check this). The weight, no matter how heavy it is, should allow you to perform the exercise with perfect form and NEVER compromise with your technique!!!
If you don’t want to waste your time in the gym, this is absolutely possible! You do not need “to stay all day in the gym”- you could do that ONLY if you work there! Here is what you need to do:
Work out three-four times a week. Train your WHOLE BODY!
Use basic, compound movements- squats,deadlifts,push ups, presses, pull ups, chin ups, dips, lunges, rows!
Choose one pulling movement(pull up), one pushing(presses,push ups) and two for the lower body- one predominantly quad exercise and one predominantly for the posterior chain.Add one stabilizing exercise( planks, L-sits..)
Complete 3-5 sets and keep the reps between 5-8, with some exceptions on the days that you train with weights closer to your 1RM! On these days you could lower the rep range.
Here you will found out more how to structure your workouts!
If on your last rep, you don’t feel like you are giving your best effort, that means that the weight is not heavy enough!
If you could talk during the set, that means that the weight is not big enough and you are not training with high intensity.
If at the end of the workout, you feel like you didn’t do enough exercises- then you did not train with high intensity!
You do not need to try every single exercise known to man, in order to feel like you had a good workout!
If you could work out the whole day in the gym- then you are not training with high intensity!
If after two weeks on this program, you don’t notice progress- that means you do not work out with high intensity!
Am I right? Is intensity the key factor that is missing from your workouts?
From personal experience, I found out that the higher the intensity of my workouts, the less time I could spend in the gym and still become fitter, stronger and feel better!
Do you think that you work out with enough intensity? Share with me what your workouts look like!
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