- Good Afternoon Empyreans! -
Have you ever started a fitness routine but felt like those results weren't coming in as fast as you hoped? I mean you were working out (or just simply moving more) 4-5x a week, you were working out an hour every time, and you've been doing this already for 3 months! When do these changes start happening?! Ahhhh!
Well, I'm here to tell you a secret that will almost 9 times out of 10 WILL get you the results that you desire! Now this is coming from a graduate of Exercise Physiology so we specialize in creating progressive exercise routines but there is one variable of the equation that we have NO control over and that is...
You can have the best plan made for you by the world's most renowned Strength and Conditioning Specialist or a plan that you're following from a magazine but NONE of that matters if you are not familiar with YOUR limits. A high intensity will always provide the preferred stimulation your body needs to force change and grow stronger.
When you're consistently taking your body near its maximum threshold, your body has no choice but to CHANGE in order to meet that demand the next time it's in a similar situation. If the intensity is moderate, the body will find no reason to change because it knows it can handle the given situation.
Now, how hard you can push yourself is all you! Only you can determine that. Here's a scale the measures intensity. It's called Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE for short. This scale is to provide in insight on hard you're pushing your body during your exercises.
In order to get your body to where it needs to be, (and I'm being completely honest here) every set or exercise needs to be at an 8 or 9 on this scale. As you get closer to the end of your workout, you should be creeping onto a 10. Anything less, would probably just be a waste of time. So it kind of makes sense now that you weren't getting the results you wanted from walking around the block a couple of times or taking the stairs instead of the elevator...
I must say that as intensity goes up, the chances of injury goes up as well. So I must stress that its is very important that you maintain IMPECCABLE form when picking up the intensity in your exercises. Here's a way that you can transition into higher intensity while maintaining form and keeping injury at bay.
Start with a lighter weight (or even bodyweight) and with IMPECCABLE form, rep out the exercise until failure (until you can't do a rep). If you rep the exercise until failure, then most likely you've probably reached a 9 or 10 on the RPE Scale.
Now, grab a medium weight and rep out the same exercise in the same IMPECCABLE form until you feel the same 9/10 feeling of the RPE from the previous lighter set.
Intensity is Your BFF
Congratulations! You just became BFFs (best friends forever!) with intensity. Now, every time you workout, it should feel like this.
Instead of that steady walk, walk or sprint as fast as you can to a certain attainable distance and rest for 1-2 minutes.
If you're doing a bicep curl and your protocol calls for 15 reps and it feels like a 7 on the RPE scale, don't stop! Keep going until you feel that 9-10. Then on the next set, grab a heavier weight and it should be that 9-10 feeling at exactly that 15th rep. Even if you don't make it to 15; as long as it was INTENSE, the body will change.
Other Variations That Can Increase Intensity
Limit Your Rest Time
Decreasing your recovery time keeps the heart rate up and gives way to increasing the intensity with every set. Instead of usually resting 2 minutes between each set, try resting for 1 minute and you'll feel a BIG difference.
This means do 2 different exercises in a row with no rest in between. This will force the body to work longer but and cause muscles to fatigue faster and require to recover longer. But we're going to go ahead and not do that because we love this INTENSITY supersets bring!
Control the Tempo of the Exercise
This means change the speed of the exercise. Instead of just seeing how many reps you can do, slow down the speed of the repetition. During an exercise, forcefully make the lift, hold the contracted position for 3 counts then slowly lower the weight for 5 counts. Just by controlling the speed of your repetition will keep the muscles under longer tension hence creating more effort and ultimately increasing the intensity of the workout.
We have the best trainers that can gauge how hard every client is working. You can fake working at a 7 on the RPE scale but you definitely cannot fake a 9 or 10. Our trainers make sure every client is working to their full potential in every workout by...
- Demonstrating perfect form for every exercise and making sure every client executes it well
- Manipulating rest times
- Utilizing different variations of exercises (single leg, change of tempo, isometrics, etc.)
- Changing routine styles (supersest, triple sets, drop sets, timed sessions, etc.)
- Knowing how to motivate and push every client to step out of their comfort zone and most of all, stay in it!
If you feel like your workouts need a boost or you just simply don't know how to take yourself out of your comfort zone safely, we can show you how! Simply type your email below and we can set you up with a workout tomorrow! Feel the difference with Empyrea!