Am I working hard enough?
How do you know if you’re working hard enough?
This is a great question… I don’t normally get asked this , but its one that I often ask the class participants. Most of the time when I ask, they give me a sigh and push a bit harder.
You should be thinking to yourself during the class, Am I working hard enough?
This is why it’s a great idea to join a class, rather than doing it on your own. If you can get in a consistent 3 times per week on your own, good on ya! But for those who don’t like to do it on their own, I’m here for you. 🙂
As you are going though some of the exercises, you’re going to find it hard to breathe. If you’re short of breath from needing oxygen, good. If you’re short of breath because your having a heart attack, not good. You should know what your levels are when starting an exercise program. If you’re not sure, mention it to the instructor. I always try and watch the people in my class and how they’re moving. You can tell by the way people move through ranges of motion if they’re getting the most out of the exercise or not as they could be tired, in pain, or just not know how to do the movement. Remember that your instructor should be able to modify any and all exercises at a moments notice. You should also tell the instructor before the class starts if you have to modify anything.
Back to intensity and if it’s right for you… In my TnT Fitness Boot Camp classes, I try to have non-competing exercises one right after the other. This means that you’re doing a pushing exercise, then a pulling or a leg exercise. Sometimes there will be more than one exercise with the same movement pattern, but not too often. This gives the one body part a rest while another gets worked.
So, when thinking am I working hard enough, You should try to work at a level that makes you out of breath. Having to catch your breath after talking for two sentences should be a good indication. Seeing more stars (than me) floating around, is a good indication to slow down.
When doing a resistance exercise, try for different rep ranges. If you’re looking at getting stronger, try only 8 – 10 reps. Endurance training will be at 20 or more reps. If you’re wanting to build some extra power, keep the reps real low, like 3-5.
For example, jumping squats. Put as much power into them as possible to get as many muscle fibres involved. More strength and power to jump onto things (like stages). Shorter jumps, but lots of them, will give you a big metabolic cost (more calories) and some endurance as well. It might be tough not knowing how to increase the intensity, but I’m here to help. 🙂
One last thing.
When doing a pushing or pulling exercise, it’s hard not to use your arms. This is why when I’m explaining what to do, I try to never say what muscle not to use. Only what muscle you should be using.
Your brain will remember the last 3 or 4 words that you hear. So if I say, “you might feel this in your arms”. You’re going to be thinking of your arms and do it with them. If I mention that you should push with your chest. That’s where your brain (should) be focusing. Your arms will always want to take over. If you’re doing an exercise and you feel it in your arms call your instructor over and ask them where you should be feeling it. I’ll give you tips on how to feel it in the right muscle group so you get the best results you can.
Bring a friend with you and your class is free. Only if your friend has never been to my class before though. 🙁