How Intense Should Workouts Really Be?

The idea that every workout should be extreme or punishing is pervasive, and aggressive marketing campaigns from fitness companies and gyms are largely to blame. But how intense should workouts really be? That really depends on your personal health and fitness goals.

The Science on Workout Intensity

At Framework Personal Training in Reno, we specialize in fitness over forty. And while individual goals vary, many of our clients are interested in fitness to improve their health. That’s significant, because when the goal is optimizing health, workout intensity doesn’t necessarily need to be extreme.

In a JAMA Internal Medicine study, researchers looked at data from six studies. Over a 14-year period, those who never exercised had the highest risk of death, which isn’t terribly surprising. But what’s interesting is that those who completed even a fraction of the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week lowered their mortality risk by 20%. The numbers went up the more exercise people performed.

From a purely fitness perspective, incorporating high-intensity interval training is a good way to improve endurance. But the beauty of HIIT workouts is their efficiency – by design, these are short, intense workouts. The idea that we need to complete long, grueling workouts four, five, six days a week for optimal health just isn’t supported by science. For seniors over age 65 looking to improve their health, two to three days of strength training every week, plus thirty minutes of aerobic movement every day, is sufficient. That averages into about 2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity movement.

While it’s likely that you can manage the card portion on your own, a certified personal trainer can be a smart partner for the strength training elements. There’s no substitute for strength training, and it’s never too late to start. But sometimes, it’s not easy to know where to begin. A good trainer will create a customized workout plan based on your goals, account for any limitations you may have, and ensure both your safety, workout consistency, and the most appropriate workout intense. Learn more about what a personal trainer can do for you – contact Framework Personal Training today.

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