It has become like a badge of honor for some people to say that they pushed themselves to the absolute limit that their body could take, to the point of being head first in a trash can.
More = Better is the common line of thought by most people with fitness and/or performance goals, but is that accurate? I commonly meet clients who want to train 7 days a week and feel absolutely destroyed at each workout, but does that mean they are going to get better/faster results?
I am in no way saying that you shouldn't put forth 110% effort into a workout, but when did the goal of working out become how badly you can punish your body? There is a difference between a challenging strength training/fat loss program and a random series of exercises thrown together to make you feel dizzy. At Peerless, we utilize some intense circuits and tri-sets to help condition and challenge our clients to improve their conditioning, but it is not the nuts-and-bolts of our program and the sets/exercises are progressive. If you have not tried one of our workouts yet, I highly suggest it. (Free Sample Here)
Let me first define what I mean by an “intense workout”. Here are some of their qualities:
1.) High number of impact jumping drills with high repetitions
2.) Little to no rest periods
3.) Focus is entirely on high number of repetitions or timed sets
4.) Repetitive and over-prescribed movements
What is wrong with these types of workouts? After all, you sweat and feel worked after, isn’t that the whole idea? Here are some points you may have not thought of before:
1.) Is that style of training sustainable for the long-term?
At Peerless Athletics, we believe fitness is a lifestyle and if we as coaches ask you to do something that is not sustainable, we are setting you up for failure. By focusing on high repetition and intense training all the time, you are not only going to burn out mentally, but also physically. Without strength training to balance you out, your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints become increasingly stiff and less mobile setting you up for injury.
2.)You don’t burn as many calories as you think
In a typical hour-long training session, an “insane workout” will burn 300-600 calories. Those calories are replaced right away just by eating a chicken breast and cup of rice at the next meal. The goal of a workout then shouldn’t be just how many calories can you burn, but instead something else…keep reading...
3.)What is your training goal?
What goal are you hoping to accomplish through your workouts? If it is to gain lean muscle and lose body fat like it is for most people, then the goal of the workout is to
A.) Elevate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) so your body burns more fuel at rest and
B.) Elevate your heart rate so you can tap into fat stores and improve cardiovascular health
You don’t need to do 100 reps of squat jumps in 15 minutes to accomplish those things. What you DO need is a professionally designed strength and conditioning program that plans for your goals and needs specifically.
Every workout and every exercise has its place. It is all part of the pie and diversity can help keep workouts fun and challenging. If you enjoy high intensity workouts then make sure you balance with a strength-training program and a recovery program to avoid injuries. You can get one designed specifically for you here.