Four Signs You’re NOT Working Hard Enough
1.) Lack of Muscular Burn: Anaerobic exercise with short, incomplete rest periods creates a great deal of lactic acid accumulation causing intense muscular fatigue and burning. Simply put, if your muscles aren’t burning, you’re not working hard enough. However, this does not mean that you need train to muscular failure on every set. However, for the optimal training effect you should come close to but stop just before technical failure, the point at which going any further would comprise proper exercise form and technique.
2.) Lack of Personal Confrontation: Studies show that training intensity, not volume, determines the degree of metabolic boost from a given workout. That being said, if you don’t have at least a couple moments during your workout when you feel like you want to quit or you hate your life, you’re not working hard enough. Progressive overload remains the hallmark of any solid fitness routine and if you are not pushing past your comfort zone your body will stop adapting to ANY routine. This is nothing more than the man in the mirror test- get some!
3.) No Sounds of Exertion: If you’re not grunting, groaning, huffing, or puffing you’re simply not working hard enough. Your heart rate should be up the whole workout with your lungs working overtime and you might even get a nice little workout booger or two by the time it’s all said and done. In other words, these total body workouts create a systemic effect that activates your body’s fight or flight response to help you go the distance. I’m not saying you have to scream like a rabid animal, but I am saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. Finally, I think another good analogy is the 4 letter word test- if you’re not fighting back the burning desire to yell out a profane 4 letter word or two, well then you’re probably not working hard enough.
4.) Not Sweating: A good metabolic workout will have you glistening during the first couple minutes of the workout and your shirt should be soaked halfway in. If you’re not dripping in a pool of your own sweat at the end of each workout, you simply did not use use heavy enough loads or advanced enough exercise variations to create a metabolic disturbance. Either that or you were resting too long between sets. In general, you should never take more than 60 seconds of rest between sets with metabolic training and 10-30 seconds seems to be the sweet spot.