This week has been quite fun at the gym. I had to sub a few spin classes so it’s fun to see new faces, plus I am “mentoring” a gym member while she gets her spinning certifications. I’ve let her teach part of my classes and then we go over things at the end. It’s been a good refresher for me as well jut going over the basics of teaching group fitness and spinning.
We got to talking about MEASURING fitness and how to gage the effort level for each class. Well, one of the BASIC things we often overlook is the assumption that you have to measure fitness by numbers. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my heart rate monitor and I think everyone would benefit from training with one, but not everyone can afford one and not everyone remembers to bring theirs to the gym, etc.
So how do you measure your FITNESS during a class or workout without the numbers?
I like to try to connect the mind with the body.
- Easy- like walking. Simple conversation can be held (perfect for a warm up)
- Moderate– jogging at an easy pace. Something you can hold a while. You can chat with someone but not the whole time. You still need to breathe regularly. Steady State.
- Right Below threshold- Imagine yourself on a track. You’re rounding the corner right before a straight away. That’s right below threshold. You’re almost breathless striding towards that straight away sprint finish.
- Threshold– This is getting uncomfortable. Your breathless. If you were on that track, you’ve rounded the corner and are on the home stretch.
- HARD- past threshold- Uncomfortable (lactic acid threshold here). Breathless for sure. Lungs are working hard, muscles are working hard. You’re on that last leg of the track and your sprinting to the finish line, trying to pass that last person. (make sure to properly recover after you get to this stage. Let the heart beat slow down and catch your breath)
Can you visualize your body going through those motions? Try it sometime. Your next workout. Are there sprints, tabatas, etc? What effort are you hitting? Right it down after. Then go back the next days and where your heart rate monitor. Do you feel a difference in workouts? You’ll be surprised at both.
If you’re interested in more info on threshold tests, numbers and all, here’s a great article to study up on.
Numbers help us with smart training. We need them! But we also need to ENGAGE our minds to connect with our body. Easier said than done, but WORTH the focus. Try it out sometime and let me know whatcha think!
How to gage your own effort without measuring the numbers? Are you fan of visualization?