You might be tempted to workout longer to get faster results or to skip a few minutes and get out of the gym quicker, but both will cause you to do a disservice to yourself. There’s a sweet spot where you have the perfect amount of time to get the benefits you want, but not so much time that you work to the point of injury. When you time your workouts, it helps you identify the time spent at the gym that’s wasted. You may be walking around, visiting with others or simply spending way too much time between sets resting.
Spending more time doesn’t mean better results.
Do you feel like you’re living at the gym? That isn’t necessarily a good thing. Your body needs some down time, particularly if you’re doing a tough workout. Not only do you need to take a break so your body can heal if you’re working on strength building, you need to take a break to avoid stressing yourself. Even though you workout to get rid of stress hormones, a tough workout actually stresses the body. It can affect the immune system for up to 72 hours if you’re pushing hard, so give your body a day or two after a hard workout to repair itself.
Measure your intensity by body signs and adjust your time based on the intensity.
If you’re doing moderate exercise, you need to put in more time. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise each week, but cut that in half for intense exercise. Judge the moderate exercise by whether you break a sweat and how fast your heart is beating. If you can talk easily and sing, you need to get more intense to be considered moderate. If you’re able to talk, but not sing, it’s moderate. If you can barely gasp out a few words, that’s an intense workout. If your workout is constantly at high intensity, pare back your time a bit, compared to a moderate pace.
You can overwork to the point of illness or other symptoms.
Overworking at the gym can cause problems that affect your mood and your physical health. If you’ve ever watched someone right before they got sick and ran a fever, you’ll see the same symptoms. You might get irritable, depressed or even angry for no reason. If you’re overworking, your immune system won’t function as well. You’ll find you’re getting sick more frequently and feel exhausted more of the time. If you see these symptoms, check your workout schedule to make sure you’re not over doing it. You can get too much of a good thing.
- The benefit comes from the actual time you workout, not how much time you spend at the gym. If you’re using the sauna, spending time showering and hitting a juice bar or visiting, that doesn’t count as workout time. Time only the exercise and not the breaks.
- Always focus on intensity, especially if you’re doing strength training. One way to shorten your time is to vary the intensity. High intensity interval training—HIIT—can cut your workout time and is easy to do. Just vary the intensity between high intensity and a recovery pace.
- If you prefer a more accurate way to judge whether you’re working out too much, get a heart rate monitor. If your heart rate increases suddenly, back off a bit. Your body is under too much stress.
- For those who haunt the gym, hoping that strength training for hours a day will give them the bulging muscles they want, think again. Doing strength training too often and not giving muscles a chance to heal and rest can actually cause a loss of muscle tissue.
For more information, contact us today at IronFit San Antonio