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How hard should I work out?

I hear that a lot.

And totally get it. There’s SO much confusion about how often we should work out, what types of workouts to do, when to work out, and how hard to push yourself.

So here’s a good way to determine if you’re working hard enough….

A. Ask yourself if you FEEL like you’re challenging yourself. This goes for cardio workouts AND resistance/strength training. Many times just paying attention to yourself raises your awareness and you’ll know immediately that you could work harder.

B. For strength training, your goal should be to reach failure for each muscle group you’re working. If your finish your set – or your entire workout and your muscles feel like you could have done a few more, you didn’t work hard enough. Lift heavier next time, lift more slowly. Concentrate. Fatigue those muscles! You do want to build muscle. It’s what makes you look strong, healthy, and it raises your metabolism, keeping you burning calories and fat allll day long. Can’t beat that!

C. For cardio, you should be pushing yourself past your ‘comfort zone’…BUT you should still be able to hold a conversation (albeit a short conversation with short sentences!). And if you’re doing HIIT training once in a while (you ARE doing HIIT training some, right??!) then you should only be able to spit out one-word replies during the HIIT portion…but remember, those high intensity segments are short-lived and followed by a recovery. That’s the beauty of these short workouts, you really kill it and your reward is a shorter workout and wonderful fat-burning results.

If you want results like this:

Image

Then start working like that!

I know that doesn’t seem like much direction, but that’s exactly how to know if you’re working hard enough. It’s that simple. I hope it helps! Do you feel like you push enough yourself during your workouts? If so, how do you keep yourself pushing?

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