WHAT IS INTENSITY IN TERMS OF FITNESS?
Hello, how are you fit fam, its been long since I shared with you some of my fitness knowledge, so lets dive into today’s topic ” what is intensity in terms of fitness?”
The best way I would define this is in two simple ways; One, the load lifted or two, the difficulty of the set. Many people have trained for so long without getting great results but maybe its intensity that is lucking. Say for example; Tom and Dick train together, they have the same program , meaning same number of sets, same rep ranges and same weights but Tom gets better results than Dick.
I know you’ll say “ we have to consider genetics and dieting “but lets put that as a constant on both of them.
Good intensity comes with a good mind-muscle connection, range of motion and feeling every muscle stress in each rep rather than just going through the movement. Focus maintained during your workouts also will add up or lessen your intensity. Dick is always on his phone in between sets while Tom pays attention to his rest time always making sure he isn’t distracted whatsoever.
Tom always has the desire to beat his previous set performance on a set or on his cardio or his form and posture while performing an exercise while Dick wouldn’t careless about those !. Tom wants to always improve himself in all ways in each training session, each set and each rep.
He is focused to get to his goal, makes sure his exercise form and intensity go hand in hand then links pleasure to working out and pain to missing a workout.
This is what Tom might be doing that Dick isn’t.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY INTENSITY?
- KEEP YOUR WORKOUTS SHORT. Say 45-60 minutes. This will help you maintain maximum intensity.
- LOW REPS HIGH LOAD. This is easier to concentrate on. But in case of HIGH REPS MODERATE TO LOW LOAD, focus on getting to challenging rep ranges before taking a short rest of 3-5 seconds then continue with great focus till you complete your set.(This is the technique i usually use as i love volume)
- FOCUS ON FORM AND POSTURE. Do your research on form and posture tutorials for each and every exercise I’m your program. This will prevent injuries and promote longevity on-top of increasing your intensity. Haven’t you ever observed that when you perform an exercise the right way you quickly fatigue than when you perform it the wrong way. This can be so because not the right or all muscles involved for that movement are involved. Easiest way to make sure your form and posture is right is by tightening your core, it is common to all forms and postures.
- BREATHING. Many don’t know how to breathe while working-out. This is actually a big topic on its own as it differs in many kinds of training. But this is something you must look into while doing research on form and posture, they all go hand in hand.
- REST IN BETWEEN SETS .Many of you head straight for your phones during rest times and lose track of time during your rest. I advocate for flight mode on and timer on to time your rest between sets. Or if you have a partner, only rest when its their turn to perform the set. Your intensity lessens each time you over rest. Make sure your heart rate is not all the way down before going for your next set.
- MUSCLE MIND CONNECTION. This is very important. Feel every rep, every stress placed on your target muscle to improve your intensity through muscle mind connection. (Read my previous post to understand MUSCLE MIND CONNECTION)
- RANGE OF MOTION. This is another principle you must have in mind to improve intensity. (Read my previous post to understand RANGE OF MOTION)
- FOCUS AND DESIRE TO GET BETTER. This is what I always use in each of my workout sessions. I always say that you should strive to make today’s workout harder than yesterday’s while keeping form, posture, breathing and range of motion constant. In cardio I make sure my performance is better, my endurance is up and i beat my previous time if time was required.
- FEED AND DRINK ENOUGH AND SMART FOR YOUR GOALS AND TRAINING. What you eat and drink?, how much you eat and drink and what time you eat and drink is very crucial to how intense you’ll be at the gym. Keeping my hydration at 4 litres a day,I used to eat black beans and rice as my pre-workout and my intensity was great, then the following week I ate green grams and rice, this actually affected my intensity,I didn’t feel my workouts. So then I went back to black-beans and rice and my intensity was back up.
“Hmmm…. what other food would make my intensity better?”.. I asked myself. So I decided to take oats and eggs along with moringa powder, peanut butter etc. and my intensity was actually better than when i ate black beans and rice.I then experimented on how much food to eat. Don’t expect going to workout with a full tummy will keep you beast. You’ll puke after your warm-up 😂.
Also to some people , working-out on an empty stomach will get them nauseous or working-out while dehydrated. Also drinking a lot of water before or while doing strenuous cardio will get you a stitch and then down goes your intensity. In addition, I experimented with what time to eat before training. One hour before was hell for me, two hours before training was perfect for me. I wasn’t feeling heavy and slow.
So there you go, I hope I haven’t missed any other way to increase intensity , if so feel free to add by commenting in the comment section !
See you on the next blog post!
Remember to always Train for self love and Athleticism!!