How many times have you heard this expression: No pain = no gain?

A woman sitting in the lotus position with her legs crossed.By Chris Robertson PTS

This isn’t necessarily true. You can still get great results from a decent workout without killing yourself.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at fit people. They don’t have to kill themselves to be fit; they just work out regularly.

Killer Workouts Can be Damaging

While doing a killer workout might get you weight loss results faster, it can often come at an expense to your body. Here are a few examples: pulled muscles, torn tendons and ligament injuries, joint pain, and muscle tears.

Not only are they unpleasant, these types of injuries are damaging to your body! You heard that right. Your body might recover when you are young, but many injuries can often call for hip replacements, shoulder surgeries, and walking canes later on in life.

I have seen it too often. A person comes to the gym and feels brave and excited about working out, so they push as hard as they can. Next thing you know, they are sitting on the ground with an ice pack on their knee or hunched over a garbage can vomiting.

Workout Benchmark

My advice: be careful with overzealous workouts where you are placing too much stress on your body. What does that entail? Lifting too heavy, doing more reps than you can to the point where your form is affected, or doing exercises that will require high-impact movements. If you want to lift heavy weights – then build up to it. If you want to jump around, then you have to make sure that you have got the right technique and that your body is able to support any impact from the jump.

As a trainer, I can often use my client’s facial expressions as an indicator of how much they can do. If I ask for 20 reps but they start to make a face at 12, then I will push them to only 14-15 reps. I might ask for two more reps weeks later once they have built up their strength.

Another indicator is pain. If your lower back starts to hurt while doing crunches, it simply means that you are not strong enough just yet for that particular exercise. So find another exercise that isn’t as hard and work your way up. In time you will be able to do more.

Here is another guideline. If you feel nauseous or light-headed, then it is probably best to take it easy. It is a clear sign that your body is not handling it well! There is no need to torture yourself.

The point is that you should always listen to yourself and not always believe the no pain and no gain statement.

When to Push Yourself

Make sure that if you are new to working out then you adapt your body to exercise by building a base. This means doing a few moderate workouts before really pushing your limits.

If you have a trainer and they push you very hard to the point where you will be sick, then make sure you tell them. They might not always be in tune with how you feel, and sometimes they can make a misjudgment. The damage from that will cost you in the long run.

If you don’t feel any pain, discomfort, if you can maintain a proper form and can breathe without your heart rate being through the roof, then you are strong and fit enough to handle a little more. In that case, go ahead and push your limits!

Book now with our Personal Trainers to get the guided and motivating training you need to achieve your optimal health!