We have all worked out at some point (if you just said no to that then exercise intensity is not really important to you. Getting off your butt and doing some form of physical activity is). Most of the time it only lasts for a while and we either get bored or are disappointed with the results.
Often this is because of the intensity of the exercise. Many people blame it on the exercise itself but almost any physical exercise will get you stronger and fitter if you are doing it right. The key is working with enough intensity to affect change with your body.
What is enough intensity? It is easy to know. If you are out of breath and sweating then you are working out with the right intensity. That’s right, even if you are doing a body weight program, like the 5 week program I have provided, you should be breathing hard and sweating.
I can hear some of you already, “I just don’t sweat.” Yeah right, sweating is a physiological response to increased body temperature. If you are not sweating then your body temperature is not rising, which means your muscles are not working very hard, which means your exercise intensity is not high enough.
If you are not breathing hard then you are not making your muscles work very hard either. Your muscles need oxygen to function. When they start to work harder they require more oxygen to maintain that level of exertion. You breath hard in order to get more oxygen into your body in order to fill that need. So if you are not breathing hard it means you are not creating a demand for oxygen in your body. You are not working with enough intensity.
Why is this even important? Because if you are not working harder than your body is already capable of working then you will not give your body any reason to get stronger and more efficient.
All of our fitness goals are usually based on making change to your body. Increased cardiovascular health, decreased body fat, and a stronger body are all common fitness goals. The only way to achieve any of these things is to ask your body to accomplish something that it currently can not do.
Why would your body make changes to the way it functions if there is no need for it to do so? It doesn’t want to get stronger, fitter, and leaner. That takes more energy to maintain and your body does not want to have to increase its energy output, in fact, it is always attempting to minimize energy expenditure. So if you are not challenging your current levels then you will not see any change.
Anyone that tells you workouts can feel easy and be short and will achieve all of your fitness goals is SELLING YOU SOMETHING. They are playing on your desire to have a quick, simple, and easy program that will change your life. It wont.
If you don’t believe me then go and try that easy fast program. See how fast you get bored. It will happen right before you get frustrated because you are increasing your fitness level and not achieving your goals.
For exercise t be effective it need to be uncomfortable. It needs to be challenging. It needs to push your limits, to challenge your current capabilities. If you are not working at that level you are not going to accomplish your goals. That’s the cold, hard truth. I am not one to sugar coat things.
So up your intensity level. Push a little harder, and challenge yourself. Don’t waste your time. You don’t have to do it alone. You need to find something you enjoy, something you can see yourself doing in the long term.