LEP Fitness


How hard do you need to push yourself in the gym to get results? 

How hard do you need to push yourself in the gym to get results? 

Some people go into the gym and train like an old man (no offence to any old men out there!) but what I mean is that they don’t really train with any intensity…

They kind of stroll into the gym, have a bit of a chat, do a bit of walking on the treadmill, some pottering about – it’s like there doing a bit of casual gardening! lol!

This type of intensity barely burns any calories…

Is there any wonder why they’re not getting results? 

On the flip side…

There are those gym psychos, the one’s who grunt, bang weights about, sweat buckets, and go around listening to ganagster rap songs blaring through their headphones! lol!

This type of training may be intense and burn a whopping number of calories but the downside could mean…

Burning out!

How hard do you need to push yourself in the gym to get results? 

Well that depends on…

#1 Fitness Level 

If you’re new to the gym then it’s important to slowly build up your fitness. There’s no point in trying to KILL IT every session. Start off with lower intensity training, for example walking (flat or incline), fitness bike, cross trainer, etc. 

You could also do some lighter weights. If you’re unfit and a newbie then 20-30 minutes, 3-4 days per week should be more than enough. As time goes on, start to increase how much you do each session. You could do this by lifting slightly heavier weights, or swapping the walk for a very light jog. Basically start off small and build up. 

If you’ve been in the gym for a while and have a good level of fitness then you can push yourself harder. The aim is that no matter who you are… you are gradually trying to improve, over time your body adapts and you can do more and more.

#2 Recovery Time

I’m all for going in the gym and blasting a BIG leg session, but if that means that you can’t walk for a week…then it’s probably not the smartest move. 

If you’re a beginner then pace yourself. Let’s say you workout 3-4x per week…it’s better to train at 70-80% effort over 4 sessions, than it is to go all out for 1 session, but then only be able to push 50-60% for the rest of the week.

Here’s an analogy that I like to use with LEP Fitness Clients

Imagine you’re on a night out with friends and you go crazy on booze (wine, spirits, shots, the lot!) the next day you are going to feel dreadful and not be able to do much! Whereas had you have just gone out and had a few drinks, you can still have a good time, but it doesn’t totally write you off the next day! 

It’s the same with training, every now and then it’s great to push yourself to the limit and face the consequences! BUT most of the time you’re much better spreading it out over the week. 

Recovery time will also depend on other factors such as sleep, and good quality nutrition. 

#3 Performance

One of the best indictors as to whether or not you are training hard enough is by measuring your performance and results…

Are you getting stronger? 


Can you do more than you did 2 weeks ago? 

If you are improving then you’re on track, if not, then it’s time to address why. The likelihood is that you are overtraining/under recovering, meaning that your nutrition isn’t great, and sleep is poor. You need to be able to address these areas holding you back so that you can start to improve again. 

#4 Pain Threshold 

Some people can withstand a lot of pain, whereas other people wince at having a plaster pulled off them (that’s actually me! lol!). It’s the same with training, some guys and women can push themselves to the point of throwing up, whereas others don’t want to ruin their make-up or get their trainers mucky! lol!.

Everybody is different but your ability to train hard will depend on how you work through the ‘uncomfortable mental aspects’ of your workout. 

If you’re new to the gym then I wouldn’t recommend trying to push yourself to the limit. Instead go slow and build up your confidence. A great session for beginners is often just turning up consistently and getting a little sweat on for 20-30 minutes. Then you can start to increase it over time. 

As you get more and more into the routine of working out then it’s time to up your intensity. Personally I think it’s about going to that place where it really hurts and then doing an extra 2-5 more reps! If you do this most workouts your body will adapt and get stronger.   

If you want help with the above then why not reach out and hire a personal trainer ? Here’s… How to find a personal trainer in your local area

Thanks fo reading,

fitness blogger fitness writer

Nick 🙂