How Hard Should You Work Out? - Dynamic Health and Fitness

How Hard Should You Work Out?

Around this time of year we see a large influx of members and a very common question I get asked is “how hard should I work out?”
Now like in most things, the effort you put in will reflect in the goals you achieve, but we need to be very cautious, as if we do too much too soon we can really injure ourselves. Statistically speaking January is the highest time for heart attacks in males in north America, this in part is due to the classic get in shape new year’s resolution. Classic “man syndrome” helps too when you look at a sedentary 45 year old male who decides to start running in January but thinks he’s still that 18 year old track star. Add to that the cold weather, which will restrict blood flow and hamper the lungs capacity you’re asking for trouble. That’s the worst case scenario folks. I’m not trying to put you off I’m just giving you some facts. So let’s look at how to approach this safely. I would strongly recommend a check up with your doctor if you’ve been out of the fitness game for a while.
For this we use an RPE scale (Rating of Perceived Exertion). There are a couple of different scales to use but the most simple and more common is the 10 point scale. This method is you gauging your exercise input and rating you exertion. Generally this is used more for cardio but it can be transferred to other types of training. The trick with this is where, which number should you aim to be at? And my professional answer is it’s impossible to say as there are too many variables. Please make note that the recommendations may not be for you, for example it can depend on your age, size, heart condition, blood pressure, your specific goals, lifestyle etc.
1: A walk in the park (literally at a slow pace with no hills)
2: Fast walking
3: Gentle jog or walking up a steep hill
4: Running a short distance for the bus
5: Sweating just a little, taking deeper breathes
6: challenge but manageable, getting warm
7: Tough
8: Very challenging
9: Extremely difficult
10: Absolute maximum
Now you may realize that with this scale it’s very individual as a walk in the park may be tiresome for some people. As an example I ask my clients to aim for a 5-7 on the RPE scale. Keep in mind I know my clients and have done a full health screen first. If you have any concerns or questions about this or any other health and fitness matters please ask me or any of the trainers at Dynamic and we’d be happy to help. We look forward to seeing you in the gym soon.