How intense do your workouts need to be to lose weight?

pull upsYou don’t need to work out so hard that you end up puking, feeling nauseous, or, are in pain. Any certified personal fitness trainer that puts you through a routine like that, and knows how you feel, isn’t adjusting the workout to fit your current strength and cardiovascular level.

Pain, nausea or vomiting, is your body’s alarm signal that something is not right. A workout should be intense enough to make you sweat, at least a little, increase your heart rate (but not so much that you end up wheezing, or cannot hold a conversation). Your muscles should “burn” those last few reps, though. If you ever feel a sharp pain while exercising, stop immediately!

“No pain, no gain” is a meathead’s expression, and anyone who believes that, doesn’t know anything about how to gain strength while preventing injury. This doesn’t mean you can be lazy and still get results. Exercise shouldn’t be so easy that you can read a book and comprehend what you’re reading. Your exercise program should include a few sessions that feel hard, but not crazy; some that are easier, but still make you sweat; and others, like walking and stretching, should be included in your exercise regimen because they feel good, and, are good for you.

Photo: This photo was taken of me a little over three years ago, back when I could only do pull-ups with assistance. I’ve also made corrections to my posture since then, see the excessive curve in my lower back, by keeping my pelvis tucked under a tad (instead of sticking my butt out as seen above). I try to keep my ribcage down (it’s flared out here), and engage my lower abs (I’m sticking my stomach out in this photo without realizing it. By engaging the lower abs, this protects the back and makes the abdominals stronger and held in). I also continually work on pulling my shoulders back and down as much as possible (shown above). Why do I do all this? It’s to prevent pain and injury, is totally worth it, and looks better to boot.

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