How to Determine if You Had a Good Workout

One of the struggles in learning how to workout properly is knowing whether your exercise was actually good. You may feel tired and sore, but these two things apparently aren’t measures of a good workout. Using a machine at your local 24 Hour Fitness may tell you how much calories you’ve burned, but what if your exercise for the day is a 1-hour morning run? How would you know if you did well?

Soreness and tiredness aside, here are some science-backed signs that will tell you if your efforts are not in vain.

  • Your heart rate is three-fourths of your maximum heart rate.

Especially if you’ve just done a cardio workout, your goal should be to elevate your heart rate up to three quarters of the maximum rate for your age and to sustain it for twenty minutes or longer. To determine your max heart rate, the formula is pretty simple: take 220 minus your age and the result is your maximum heart rate. However, sometimes this can overestimate your max HR, so some trainers use this formula instead: Max HR = 208 – (age x 0.7). Calculate what the ¾ of your max HR and you have your target heart rate every time you do some cardio exercises.

  • You feel stronger right away.

Some people tend to measure their workout with how tired they are after. Experts actually say that you shouldn’t feel so tired after you exercise as it can mean that you’ve overdone your workout. What you should feel after your time at the gym is energized. Remember that maxing out on an exercise and passing out on the floor is bad for you.

  • You feel challenged.

Upping the intensity of your workout is one of the most important things to do if you want to get the most out of your efforts, so you need to feel challenged when you’re doing a new routine or increasing your reps. If you’re having a hard time completing your sentence (when talking to your gym buddy during exercise) or grasping for air, you might need to tone it down a bit as it can mean you’re pushing too much.

  • You recover quickly from intense intervals.

Intense interval trainings can help you burn more calories if you work harder on them, which is definitely a good thing. However, if you happen to recover quickly after an intense round, it’s a good sign that you have a healthy heart and that you’re doing a good job in your exercises.

  • You get good shuteye.

While workouts will energize you and make you feel less sleepy, it should also give you a good night’s sleep. So if you get to fall asleep easily after a workout, you can be sure that your physical activities are paying off nicely.

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