It can be hard to know how hard to push while you’re exercising. When you’re just starting out, almost anything you do can leave you breathless with burning muscles. But, after a while, if you’re not challenging yourself by upping your weights and increasing the intensity, you might start to cruise though. And, why not? If you’ve worked hard to build your fitness, surely it’s okay to reap the rewards, right? Well, yes if you’re already at your goals. But, if you’re still working for something you need to use your time effectively. So, today I want to talk about two important exercise components, work and rest, and how to exercise for maximum results. These principles can be applied to almost anyone from beginners to advanced and those looking to lose weight or gain muscle.

What Should an Effective Workout Look Like?
Most of the time, your workouts should leave you breathless and hot with muscles that burn a little. While you can achieve this from pretty much any type of exercise, workouts that involve using weights generally hit these three outcomes in the least amount of time.

So, what does this look like?

Basically, it’s a faced-paced workout that involves lifting reasonably heavy weights and only resting when you need to. That could be a HIIT workout that uses your bodyweight, kettlebells or a barbell. Or, it could be a purely resistance-focused session with minimal breaks. Either way, the goal is to get a little out of your comfort zone by working those muscles until you feel warm and out of breath.

This of course, shouldn’t be when you’re feeling sick or if you’re just doing a light recovery day.

When to Work and When to Rest
You might think that working and resting are opposites. But, they’re actually both needed to give you the best results. When you work hard, rest becomes essential. And, when you rest, you’ll be able to push harder later.

So, although there’s a difference between resting and lazing around in the gym, rest is an important part of quality exercise sessions.

But, how do you know when to work and when to rest?

The best way is to think of it like this:

keep pushing until you can’t anymore and then rest until you feel like you can keep going.

The great thing about using this philosophy is that you don’t even need to plan rests into your workout. You can simply just lift moderate to heavy weights and keep super-setting exercises until you need a rest. Or, you could be doing a circuit without rest incorporated and just give yourself a few seconds to stop, breath and let you heart rate calm down when you need it.

Your Body’s Hormonal Response
The reason that training like this works, is that being out of breath, hot and feeling the burn means that you’re working at intensity. And, it’s this intensity that increases your body’s human growth hormone (HGH) response.

For both women and men, HGH is a pretty great hormone. It encourages your body to burn fat while simultaneously building muscle. This means that a faster metabolism will cause your body fat to drop, revealing a lean, athletic figure.

Putting This into Practice
To get maximum results from your next workout, remember to push until you need to rest and then rest until you can keep going. Be honest with yourself and don’t slack off. It’s your results that’ll be affected.

But, if you do need help in learning when to push and when to rest, contact me about personal or group training today. By working with you in person, I can help you learn how to exercise for maximum results by creating the drive and mental strength that makes powering through workouts almost second nature.