You might have heard the saying “Go hard or go home”. When it comes to training, it is definitely true. If you want to break through the plateau of being a skinny guy, you need to train in the right way so that your muscles will respond and grow the way that you want them to. One of the most important factors in this is the intensity of your workout. Intensity isn’t yelling out at the top of our lungs like you are Goku turning into a Super Saiyan. Intensity is pushing your body to the limit so you can surpass your threshold.
The percentage of what your best is will determine what intensity you are working at.
It’s incredibly important that you work at an intensity level that is 80% or more, so you will be able to can improve your condition and your physique as quickly as possible.
Intensity when weight training.
It’s important that you use resistance weights that are heavy enough to break down the muscle over a number of repetitions so that the muscle will grow.
Typically, the repetitions will be 10-15 reps at your maximum resistance weight. For example, if you were doing the bench press at 100kg for 10 repetitions, you would be expected to get at least 8 reps for three sets in your workout.
Intensity when doing cardio and conditioning.
The same thing applies when doing cardio conditioning. You need to work out what is your personal best and then train at 80% of the intensity threshold. For example, if you ran a 10km run in 50 minutes, you can train by doing the same run in 60 minutes.
You have probably heard of high interval intensity training (HIIT). It works on the same principle and you often see athletes have incredible physiques because they work to a similar program. This involves working at an intensity rate that’s 80-100% of their best in short intervals with minimal recovery time. The high heart rate allows them to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Their body also goes into afterburn, where their body continues to burn calories for several hours after they have completed their workout.
How can you calculate the intensity that you need to workout at?
For weight and fat loss, you need to focus on your body’s heart rate. Firstly, you need to workout what your maximum heart rate is. If it is 200 beats per minute (bpm), then you need to aim to have your heart rate at 80% of your maximum heart rate when you exercise (this will be 160 beats per minute).
Your goal is then to maintain this intensity for as long as possible during your workout. A 40 minute workout at this intensity could see you burn between 500-1000 calories. However, it is common for bodybuilders to do a 20-30 minute session to achieve their cardio goals, but minimise the risk of losing any muscle size.