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What is Training Intensity: How do I know when I’m doing it right?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

One of the most common questions I receive from new bodybuilders is, How do I know when I am doing it right? Doing it right refers to level of intensity. My favorite! Before we carry on, take a look at the scale below. This scale can be applied to both cardio and


Intensity Scale

Level 1 = Warm up or slow pace, heart rate doesn’t increase much.

Level 2 = Moderate, starts to increase heart rate.

Level 3 = Medium-High, moderate burn, breathing a little heavier!

Level 4 = High, definitely harder to breathe, oh yeah, it’s burnin’!!

Level 5 = As hard as you can go and sustain based on current level of conditioning.

Simply not knowing how hard to push themselves is the most common mistake women make during their workouts. Even now in the twenty first century, there is some kind of lore floating around out there that if you grunt in the gym while doing your cardio or nweightlifting, you’ll turn into a man. Better yet, depending on which gym you go to, if you grunt, you’ll be escorted to the door!

The level of intensity or effort for each set of exercises, whatever the exercises may be, should be enough that you cannot carry on a conversation while performing the exercise as what you are doing demands 100% of your attention.

If you can look over and chat with someone while you are doing your cardio or while you are lifting, then you are not pushing yourself hard enough.

Remember this, wherever you train, you are working and out and doing your exercises for

you! You put in the work, you reap the rewards!

So, let’s go ahead and clear this up right now: Grunting equals 100% effort and intensity!

Rian Andrea, NASM-CPT, Pn1

Athlete, Coach, Author, Fitness Blogger

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