Do you go to the gym, walk on the tread mill, complete a set on all the machines, and leave? I don’t want to say you’re wasting your time because some movement is always better than no movement, but are you hitting any of your weight loss goals? if you’re doing just enough to say you work out, its time to reassess your goals, and reassess your training.
Here’s a few ways you can tell if you’re training hard enough. Rate of perceived exertion, and target heart rate are two ways to see if your really getting the most out of your gym session.
Target Heart Rate(THR): For this method I recommend some kind of heart rate monitor. They come in many shapes and sizes from watches to chest straps that sync to your phone. If you don’t know what heart rate to aim for heres some simple math you can do to figure it out.
First find your max heart rate:
220 – age = max heart rate
For a solid calorie burning workout we’re going to try to hang out around 85% of our max heart rate:
MHR x .85 = Target heart rate
Gradually get to that magic number and do your best to stay there for at least 30 minutes and you’ll see your calorie output jump!
Rate of Perceived Exertion(RPE): While exercising you will rate how hard you are working. This is your perception, and this feeling should reflect how hard the exercise feels to you. This is very helpful in self-monitoring during a workout. First introduced as a scale of 6-20 it has been changed to 0-10.
Scale of 1-10
0 – Nothing
0.5 – very, very light
1.0 – very light
2 – Light
3 – Moderate
4- Somewhat hard
5 – Heavy
7 – Very heavy
10 – Very,Very Heavy
We want to stay some where between 6-8 which should equal an 85% THR.
So next time you go to workout keep these targets in mind, and realize that it is going to be more difficult than what you’ve been doing. It maybe a little uncomfortable, but if you’re committed to your goals you’ll be able to push through a little discomfort for 30-45 minutes.
Don’t wish for it, work for it.