How To Know When It's Time To Increase Workout Intensity

Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or a part-time gym-goer, there will come a time when you have to switch things up. You may have a passion for the Peloton or enjoy hot yoga, or perhaps you love a good HIIT session, and all of these are great exercise options because let's face it, any movement is better than no movement.

However, if you've found yourself exercising the same way, during the same time of the day, for months on end ... you might be stuck in a plateau. Men's Journal reports that, while a results-driven fitness routine and consistency are certainly key for hitting your body goals, staying in the same routine for too long can be counterproductive.

Increasing your workout intensity by adding more resistance, incorporating more challenging exercises, and pushing your personal limits may not come easy, but if you want to see more results or hit a new goal, that's exactly what you have to do. Personal trainer Lalo Fuentes tells Men's Journal, "Your body and your mind will tell you when it's time to change your routine around and challenge your muscles more." 

Increase your workout intensity when exercising becomes easy

Verywell Fit explains that if you aren't burning as many calories as you'd like when strength training, try adding plyometrics, or jumping exercises, into your workout. Box jumps, jump squats, jumping rope, and jumping lunges are all good exercises for fat burning and improving strength. 

If you've been performing the same workout routine for up to six weeks and haven't noticed any changes in your body, then your body may have adapted to the movements (via Men's Journal). This is a sign that an increase in intensity is needed: Try adding more resistance or switching to more challenging exercises.

Pay attention to your body when working out. Are you breezing through your shoulder presses? Are you breaking a sweat? If you can get through 12 repetitions easily, you aren't working hard enough. The Mayo Clinic reports that the muscle under tension should be fatigued after 12 reps and if not, it's time to increase the weight. Trainer at Barry's Bootcamp in NYC, Josey Greenwell, tells Men's Journal, "The last 3 reps should be the hardest reps to complete."

Finally, the experts at Well+Good share that it's time to increase the intensity of your workouts when you're bored while exercising. Your mind and body may no longer feel challenged by your current workout due to adaptation, and that's a sure sign it's time to switch it up.