How Great Was Your Workout? 6 Signs to Know You Crushed IT!

How Great Was Your Workout? 6 Signs to Know You Crushed IT!

Matt Griffith, CSCS

Your workout has just ended, and you’re tired, sweaty and sore. That means you got a great workout, right? Well … not so fast.

When measuring exercise success, sweating isn’t always a reliable indicator. For example, you’re going to sweat a lot in hot yoga no matter what, as “hot” is right there in the name. And some places don’t use air-conditioning or fans. In those instances, it’s very possible you earned your drenched clothes, but you’re still impacted by the artificial climate.

Soreness isn’t necessarily a trustworthy indicator, either. If you haven’t worked out in awhile and you take a high-intensity interval training class or lift weights, it’s common to be sore even if you didn’t work to your full potential.

So how do you know it was a great workout? There are other ways to evaluate your workouts effectiveness. Here are 6 ways to prove you did your best!

1- YOU FEEL GOOD

This one seems obvious, but it is one of the best ways to gauge your workouts success. Some days the hardest thing to do is get to the gym for your workout, but leaving in a better mood and feeling better makes it worth the effort.

2- YOU FEEL MORE LOOSE

Soreness and stiffness happen after a workout, but you may feel more limber. If your body can move better than when you rolled out of bed, then you did it right today.

3- YOU HIT YOUR HEART RATE GOALS

Target heart rate varies based on age, gender, weight and fitness levels. But for everyone its a pretty objective way to measure your aerobic exercise. Hitting 70-80% of your maximal heart rate for 20 or more minutes is a sign of a great workout.

4- THAT LAST REP SUCKED IT OUT OF YOU

Not every workout needs to leave you lying in the fetal position on the floor. But if you’re not challenging yourself, your fitness is less likely to improve. Make the tough choice of grabbing the weights that are difficult but doable. Those last 2-3 reps should leave you struggling a little bit. 

5- YOU'RE GETTING STRONGER

Whether you’re training for a race or lifting weights, results aren’t always noticeable right away. But over time, you’ll improve by shaving a few seconds off your time or hoisting a few more pounds on the bar. We all want those beauty muscles (abs, arms, back) but they take lots of work. If you notice your can run faster, lift more weights and do more push-ups in a given workout, you're goals are getting hit. Be proud of those over the aesthetics.

6- YOU SLEEP BETTER

Sleep is critical for muscle recovery and it also benefits everything from mental cognition to stress levels. Fortunately, exercise itself can help you sleep more soundly at night. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, exercise not only helps you get a good night’s sleep — it helps you get the right kind of sleep. That’s because working out is associated with better slow wave (or deep) sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to recover.

While there are lots of factors that affect sleep, a good workout during your day will help you sleep longer with less wake ups during the night.

 

Looking for a new workout yourself? Check out our Small Group Training - Balanced Powers



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