Are you working out hard enough?

Reebok’s new campaign #breakyourselfie has caused some controversy, with fitness fanatics torn between loving and loathing it.

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It’s all about stepping back from looking pretty on social media, and posting your sweaty, dirty, exhausted selfies. It’s about working hard which makes sense given Reebok’s association with Crossfit.

Whilst I’m not getting in to the pros and cons of the campaign, however it did get me thinking, am I working out as hard as I could be/should be?

Obviously there are different types of workout- those that you do to unwind, to stretch, to focus, to relax. There are those that you do for fun, with friends or to learn something new. But there are those that you use to train. To train your muscles, your cardiovascular system and your mind, whether that’s just for life or to achieve physical challenges you’ve set yourself.

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Recently, there have been times in class where I’ve given up, I’ve stopped to catch my breath, I just haven’t pushed myself as hard as I could have. There have been occasions where I wouldn’t have injured myself to push more, I wasn’t going too far (I know there’s a difference), but where it was hurting, so I pulled back.

If you’re just working out for health benefits, then pulling back when it gets really tough isn’t a bad thing (in my opinion). Despite all the ‘no pain, no gain’ that we’re told from PTs, I actually do think you should enjoy a class and be able to walk the following day! However, if you’re not seeing the progress gains in your physique or training, then it might be worth looking at your training intensity.

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For me, pulling back in classes started during marathon training; I wouldn’t want to ruin my legs before a long run or speed workout so I held back. But now I’m not marathon training, so I need to stop using tired legs as an excuse.

Our time is so precious, that you might as well make your workout really count. Whether it’s an easy shakeout run or yoga session to wind down, or a upper body workout, stop shying away from the hard work!

How to make the most of your workouts; 

Try using a heart rate monitor, particularly if you’re running, HR training can give a great indication of how hard you’re working. You should be aiming for between 65-85% of your maximum heart rate to receive the most benefits from your workout.

Listen to your muscles- they may burn but if they really start to hurt then back off. Start with the ‘full move’ or heavier weight, then reduce it as you go through the sets. Ask for help from a PT at the gym or in a class if you want to increase your weights.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone, but learn your limits- you don’t want to injure yourself!

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After last week’s kettlebell workout, I was sore for days! Apparently it gets better and the soreness dissipates after a few workouts as the muscles get stronger. I know it must hurt for other people too, and really admire those that can push onwards and grit through it.

My goal over the next few weeks and months is to get my body fit and strong, using classes and running to get me to a great starting point for Chicago training (if I get in, fingers and toes crossed)! That will include a lot of hard work before I even write up my training plan!

Thank you so much to David for taking these awesome pics at Project Awesome! I was testing out the new Reebok Zpump trainers- let me know if you guys want a full review of them at some point after I’ve used them for some more runs. I can tell you that I bounced up and down the stairs at The Scoop that day!

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11 Comments

    • charlotte
      April 8, 2015 / 1:52 pm

      Thanks, my friend David took them at PA, you can meet him next week 🙂

  1. April 7, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    agree. love the pics. you look quite fierce!

    • charlotte
      April 8, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Haha thank you (I think!)

  2. April 8, 2015 / 8:14 am

    I certainly think I am not working out hard enough. I don’t know if it is just me being too critical about myself, but I am not seeing a lot of change in my body. Maybe it might be good to start taking some pictures so I can see if their is any change. I go to the gym three times a week and also do a workout at home but it seems to no avail. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate what I am doing.

    • charlotte
      April 8, 2015 / 1:56 pm

      It might be worth speaking to a PT at your gym to see if your intensity level is right if you’re not seeing any changes! Or they might just be so gradual that you’re not noticing even though they are happening!

  3. April 8, 2015 / 8:35 am

    Probably not, no. I really need to do something about that. I definitely do some times, but I tend to go from “all out” to “bit lazy” depending on what I’m up to. I’ll tend to scale exercises automatically rather than trying the full move to begin with, defeated before I even start. Hmmm. A challenge here.

    • charlotte
      April 8, 2015 / 1:51 pm

      A challenge for many of us, and something to think about each time we work out. ‘What is this workout for? What am I trying to achieve?’

  4. Andrea
    April 8, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Love that shirt, good post gives me a little motivation!

    • charlotte
      April 8, 2015 / 1:50 pm

      Thanks Andrea!

  5. April 8, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    Love this post and your tshirt and the leggings and the shoes! 😀

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