We all get in workout habits that are hard to break. Not EVERY workout should be at a hardcore level 10 – mix it up! This is the key to keeping yourself injury free and to break through fitness plateaus. When you drop your intensity for a workout, it allows your body to recover more fully and makes you stronger for your next high intensity workout.
Your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is a 1-10 scale of how you feel at certain intensities. Think of RPE 1 as sitting down watching tv and RPE 10 is full-speed sprinting up a steep hill.
- Low intensity (can say at least 10 words without catching your breath) RPE 2-4
- Medium intensity (8-6 words) RPE 5-7
- High intensity (you can only say about 4 words before taking another breath) RPE 8-9
On a typical week this is what my fitness intensity looks like from day to day:
- Monday: High
- Tuesday: Medium
- Wednesday: Low
- Thursday: High
- Friday: Medium
- Saturday: Low to High (depends on how I feel)
- Sunday: Recovery Day
I usually do a low intensity walk or bike ride on Wednesdays, so that I’m ready for high intensity workouts on Thursdays.
Here’s my (pre-shower) morning walk from this past Wednesday below:
It’s nice to take things down a level and actually stop and smell the roses (or whatever else is in bloom right now).
Plan out your workouts from week to week – literally put them in your calendar. This will keep you motivated and your body will thank you!