How do you know when it’s time to step up your movement routine? Maybe you’ve been lifting the same weight for a while now, and you’re wondering if it’s time to pick up heavier dumbbells. Or maybe you’ve been breezing through your cardio workouts, and you’re contemplating whether it’s time to amp up the intensity.
Well, Team, you’ve come to the right place!
I LOVE to challenge myself and get creative with movement because here’s the thing, you will never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try! But knowing when to turn the intensity up can be hard, and a little anxiety-inducing if you don’t have guidance. But on the other hand, getting stuck in a rut with your workouts can make movement pretty boring. So here’s my advice on finding that sweet spot to keep challenging yourself without risking getting hurt!
1. Listen to Your Body
If you’re breezing through your workouts without breaking a sweat, it might be time to step up your game. However, if you’re constantly feeling tired or sore, it might be a sign that you’re pushing too hard. Your body is constantly trying to tell you what it can (and can’t) handle, so tune in!
2. Track Your Workouts
One of the best ways to measure your progress is by tracking your workouts. Jot down what kind of workout you’re doing (cardio, strength-training, mobility), how you’re measuring your workout (reps, weight/resistance, time), and how you’re feeling at the end of your routine. You might notice that you’ve hit a plateau, where your body can handle the work you’re asking it to do without as much energy. This kind of leveling off is usually a signal that you’re ready for something more challenging.
3. Check Your Heart Rate
Heart rate monitoring is an excellent way to gauge your fitness level. If your heart rate drops quickly after a workout, or if you’re able to work out in higher heart rate zones without feeling like you’re going to keel over, it’s a good indicator that you’re ready to progress. On the other hand, if your heart rate stays high for a long time while resting, you might need to modify your cardio workouts so you can stick with them.
4. Set Performance Goals (my personal favorite!)
Rather than focusing on what you want your body to look like, focus on what you want your body to be able to do. Set performance goals, like lifting a certain amount of weight or running a certain distance, or performing certain exercises like push-ups or pull-ups. The achievement of these goals is a clear sign that you’re ready to raise the bar.