Writing a great workout requires careful consideration of many factors, and two of them are intensity and duration. Intensity encompasses how hard you’re working while duration is the amount of …
Writing a great workout requires careful consideration of many factors, and two of them are intensity and duration. Intensity encompasses how hard you’re working while duration is the amount of time you spend working. We must be mindful of these factors as they should look very different from workout to workout depending on your goals.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, all healthy adults should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on 5 days per week.
They also recommend healthy adults could participate in vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on 3 days per week. Notice here how as intensity increases, duration decreases. These two variables have an inverse relationship when it comes to exercise and it’s important we keep this in mind.
We often think that the higher the intensity and the longer the workout, the better, but this simply isn’t true. Both high intensity and moderate intensity workouts have many benefits and each have their place in a well-constructed program. High intensity workouts are a great option when you are short on time, working near your maximum limit, or are looking to work on your heart rate recovery, or amount of time it takes to get back to a resting heart rate after a bout of hard work. Keep in mind that the higher the intensity of the workout, the longer it is going to take your body to recover. It’s not recommended to do high intensity workouts every single day without resting in between.
We are able to work at a moderate intensity for a longer period of time, and this is where it is possible to increase the duration of your session.
For example, let’s say you’re going for a run. If you go out at a jogging pace, you’ll be able to run much farther than if you start off at a sprinting pace. The same is true for strength training as the closer you get to your one-rep maximum for a specific exercise, the fewer reps you’ll be able to do. It’s important we program our workouts in this way because if we push the duration too long when intensity is high, we are putting ourselves at a higher risk for injury.
It is possible to do a high intensity workout that lasts a long time and you are more than capable, but it isn’t something that you can maintain for weeks or months on end. If you’re having trouble sticking to your workout program, check in and see if your workouts are both high in intensity and duration. If they are, consider changing some of them to be high intensity and short duration or moderate intensity and longer duration. This will help with your consistency from workout to workout and will help you complete your program and make exercise a habit you actually enjoy.
Intensity and duration are just two of many factors that go into writing a great workout program that will help you reach your goals. Other factors include frequency, type of exercise, exercise selection, and rep and set ranges.
If you are new to exercise or aren’t interested in learning about how to manage all of these factors, I’d encourage you to find a workout program that is well-written to help you achieve your goals. If you’re looking for a new program to follow and want to make strength training a top priority this year, check out my latest program available at www.movewithmaggi.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here