Workout Hard or workout long!

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There’s a saying I use, and I’m sure other PT’s do, “You can workout hard or you can workout long!”

Results, in regard to workouts, are about intensity – how challenging the session is to you and your body. Our bodies change through many paths including rest, nutrition, lifestyle choices, but when it comes to workouts, you need to supply a stimulus to the body in order for it to change and adapt. If you think about it, doing the things you’ve done before, your body has achieved that, it can deal with it, so why should it change/improve? You need to alter the stimulus.

In relation to this title, workouts, and their intensity, work on a sliding scale.

If you picture a see-saw, with you sat in the middle of it, workout duration at one end, and workout intensity at the other.

Let’s say you go for a run for an hour, and start off running at around 9-10mph, that’s going some……you might be able to last this (unless you’re a very accomplished runner, in which case add 5-6mph and don’t be a smart arse 😉 )for a few minutes, before you HAVE to reduce the pace as lactic acid starts to accumulate and you body can no longer intake enough oxygen to supply the muscles. The intensity in this workout is coming from the endurance side, and the ability to work/run for a longer period, albeit and not a fast pace

However, if you were only running 1-3 miles, you’d be able to hold a higher pace, for longer, because the intensity is coming from the effort and muscle power, and therefore you don’t need to sustain the pace for as long.


The same can transfer to weight’s sessions – you may be able to deadlift 150kg for 3-4 reps, but if you were asked or required to lift 12-15times, to build endurance in the muscles, you’d never be able to lift 150kg, and you’d probably need to drop to around 100-110kg.


Every workout should have a target, and a reason for doing it. This is why having a goal, or target is important – to give your workouts meaning.

Workout Hard

There is NOTHING magic about a 1 hour gym session, your body doesn’t switch to muscle growth or fat burning after 50+ mins! In fact some of the workouts on my 19Day Body plan are around 7mins, ask some of those who have taken part if that was enough!!! Don’t follow a protocol unless it works for you, or you need to! If you train for running/duathlong/triathlon events ensure each session is structured and benefits/relevant to the distance you’ll be competing in etc.

Smaller faster sessions WILL benefit run/bike legs that are maybe 2-4 times longer than the training session.

Sure, you’ll need the odd longer session in there to get used to the distance and build muscular/lung endurance, but don’t just train long because…… Shorter, steeper, interval based sessions will all benefit your body and your training.


Decide what you are looking to achieve, then write a plan of how you’ll do it, and ensure your workouts are tailored towards those goals and aims.

Working out for a set period “just because” is pointless.

Results, and change come from challenging the body, and moving out of the comfort zone.

It’s not nice, but if getting results were easy…………….everyone would look great!




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