Intensity is where the results are so it’s definitely a good thing. You can’t reach goals without pushing your limits.
However, I’m seeing so many gyms and routines focused on intensity lately and often it’s just for intensity sake. Everything is made harder just so it’s harder.
It’s intensity for intensity’s sake and this is how we run into problems. Problems like injuries.
If you’ve gotten an injury from your workout, you’re doing it wrong. You’ve pushed well beyond your capacity and your body couldn’t handle it.
When the only goal is finishing your workout in a pool of your own sweat on the floor, this isn’t a good thing. If the idea is to “crush anybody that tries this” then the workout doesn’t have any other goal. It’s not specific to any person.
Smart intensity knows your limits and pushes on that. It makes it hard for YOU.
Stop focusing on intensity for intensity’s sake. This usually means pushing well past our limits and this type of training often ends with injury.
If you’re going to push, you need to know why you’re pushing and how far to push. You need to know how that pushing will benefit you, not harm you.
It’s all the rage right now. High intensity interval training (or HIIT) has been all over the place for a couple of years now, touting the fact that you can get an amazing, crazy workout in 20 minutes. But is it crazy to think that that’s safe? Maybe, maybe not.
Your body needs to be pushed to it’s limits every once in a while in order to grow, get stronger, and bust plateaus but that certainly doesn’t mean that you need to be going at an 11 on a scale of 1-10, 7 days a week! Trainers like Chad find that with high intensity sometimes comes injury and we all know that with injury comes NO intensity so we have to learn to workout smart. Any pro will tell you that while it’s great to workout 5 or 6 days a week, if you’re pushing out 5 million squats at a rapid pace you’re probably doing them wrong and you might be in for an injured hammy or worse! What’s most important is that we learn the perfect form first and then work ourselves up to 5 million reps (or 10 if you’re like me).
Don’t get me wrong, intensity is crucial to move your body in the right direction and to meet your fitness goals but we have to remember that for a couch potato, walking around the block is high intensity. Each body is different, listen to yours. No matter who you are and how often your train, always remember that the body needs rest and recovery periods in order to repair and get stronger. After talking with Chad I think it’s a great idea to add one high intensity training day in to my regular weekly workout. Maybe I’ll do sprints, maybe lift heavier weights, maybe a billion burpee’s (although I highly doubt I’ll even do one), any way you cut it I’ll be looking to add some pow to my regular routine but I’ll keep the focus on keeping my body healthy and away from injury.