Over the course of your fitness journey, you’ll find that the intensity of your workouts will grow with your strength, endurance, and confidence. Our bodies continually adapt to the circumstances of our lives and to the exercises included in our workouts, which is why it’s so hard to kick-start a fitness routine when you fall out of the habit. If you complete the same workout every time you exercise, your body will adapt and reach a plateau where you’re not seeing the same muscle or endurance building you felt when you first started. Diversifying and intensifying your workouts allows you to continue to challenge your body’s strength and endurance. Here’s how you can increase your workout intensity safely so you’re gaining muscle while avoiding injury. 

Start Slow

When jumping into a new workout or ramping up a current fitness favorite, it can be tempting to see just how far your body can go. This is not the best way to increase your workout intensity. Pushing yourself too far is an easy way to injure or strain yourself, which can cause lingering problems that make it difficult for you to continue working out (looking at you, shin splints). Instead, set a goal for your increased fitness activity that gives your body time to build strength and adjust to the increased length or intensity of your exercise. Resisting the urge to test your limits allows your body to continually reach harder fitness goals safely. 

Build Full-Body Strength & Endurance

For many of us, we have our preferred methods of exercising that we stick to and don’t often diversify our workouts. While exercising in ways you enjoy is one of the most effective ways to maintain your fitness routine, it can reinforce the strength you already have and leave other muscles or types of endurance weaker. Cross-training is a popular term for diversifying your exercise that’s used by runners, cyclists, swimmers, and other fitness pros. But you don’t have to be training for a marathon to benefit from a variety of workout types. The more well-rounded your strength, endurance, and fitness routine, the more easily you’ll be able to intensify your workouts. 

Focus on Your Core

You’ve likely heard it before — that you should build up your core strength to support the rest of your body. We’ll tell you again, because it’s true! Whether you notice it or not, you use your core continually throughout the day, and especially when you’re working out. Making the time in your fitness schedule to dedicate to core work will build the muscles that help lift your legs while running, stabilize your torso while lifting, and hold your body tall when sitting or standing. 

Work With a Professional

Ramping up your workouts, especially when training for an event, can be easier with support from a fitness professional. A trainer can help you design workouts that build the muscles and endurance you’ll need to up your intensity. They are also a useful resource for practicing good form while exercising, which minimizes the likelihood of injuries.

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