By Sarah Galante
Group Fitness Director
If you don’t already know what my S.T.R.I.D.E. class stands for, it’s Strength, Toning, Real, Intense Dance Exercise. I say it in every class and as soon as I speak the word “intense,” the body language of my participants changes. I see the look of fear in their eyes. Fear not my fellow and future participants. This intense blog of mine will make you strut your way to STRIDE!
Intensity is defined as “exceptionally great concentration, power or strength.” What’s scary about that? It could be the answer to how to make the most of your time at DHAC. It will be the difference between maintaining your current fitness level and pushing it to the next level.
Intensity is an individualized level of measurement. It’s about the effort you put into your workout not just the amount of weight you lifted or how many reps and sets you completed. After you finish a set, ask yourself if you could have done more or was it just hard enough that you felt a small gain. If it’s the latter, that’s your intensity. Mentally, intensity can give you the courage to take your jog to a run. “Am I ready for this, can I actually run on that track one lap?” With exceptionally great concentration, you can and will.
If you need a quick tool to help you gauge the intensity of your exercise, try the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE).
Using a scale of 6-20, six being very very light and all the way up to twenty being very very hard, Where do you fall within that scale during your workout? Where should you be? That’s for you and your new found “intensity” to figure out. The higher the number, the higher your intensity.
Of course don’t over-do it! If you feel you’ve pushed yourself too hard, take those breaks as needed! Start with a small increase and build from there.
Let go of what your day had brought you or what it has in store for you when you head to the gym. Spend some time thinking about getting more concentrated power output as well and greater internal strength.
You don’t have to squirm when intense and workout are used in the same sentence. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! It’s a good thing to be intense once and a while.