This Is The Key To Getting The Most Out Of Your Workouts

Unsplash/Geert Pieters

We all know that there are only so many hours in a day. And when the juggling act of life ensues, we have to be smart about how we spend each of those hours — even when we’re dedicating them to something that’s good for the mind, body and soul.

We’re, of course, talking about exercise here. Even people who absolutely love the gym don’t want to spend double the time necessary achieving the gains they want, right? The process needs to be efficient and effective to make your body feel good and to motivate you to keep working on those health goals day after day.

That balance can be a surprisingly difficult thing to strike, though, because it takes a strong, intuitive understanding of your body. But it is with that awareness that you are able to find the “sweet spot” of intensity in your workouts.

If you go too hard, overwhelming muscle soreness, fatigue and even injuries can derail your energy the following day (and maybe even longer) to get moving again. If you take it too easy, you’re not pushing your body to the point at which it builds additional strength, rending your workouts a lot less effective and probably kinda boring.

Unsplash/Bruce Mars

The goal is to identify how far you can push yourself each day to encourage your body to adapt to a new challenge without going so far beyond the threshold that you instead give up for a week afterward.

And every body is different. Your weightlifting challenge will be different than that of your best friend. Your run pace goal will be different than that of your coworker. And that’s okay because, honestly, your intensity sweet spot really has nothing to do with anyone but yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of a hyped HIIT class or indoor cycling session, wanting to crank out as many burpees as your neighbor or sprint it out just as fast as the super fit instructor. And it’s great to strive for those kinds of goals. But if you forget to factor in where your body currently stands, you might end up halting your progress instead of giving it a boost.

And attending class after class on autopilot, avoiding those new modifications or additional challenges that lead to growth down the line, isn’t really serving you, either. It’s great that you’re up and moving, but the benefits pretty much stop there.

So focus on finding an intensity you can maintain (maybe even with some enthusiasm) with some consistency as you move through your workouts each week. You’ll be amazed by how much that intuitive connection helps you — mentally, physically and emotionally.