How can I increase my workout intensity?

So you’re going to the gym but you’re not seeing results?

What could you do to take it up a notch?

Well there are various reasons that you aren’t making progress, but this time here’s the basics. The following are some of the simplest mistakes people make when training, but they can hold you back in a big way.

Do you break a sweat?

Your heart rate should be spiking during your workout and you should be breaking a sweat. Get your heart pumping more!

Tip: use a heart rate monitor/smart watch to keep track

You finish your set but you feel you could still do more

Your last 2-3 reps should be hard work, they should take a lot of energy to complete. If you are not experiencing this then make and effort to increase those weights. Leave it all in the gym!

Tip: Remember our post on progressive overload

You are on your phone during gym time?

Let’s be honest, our phones are wonderful – however they are the biggest distractions at the worst of times. If you have time to sit on your phone and get distracted by social media then you are not working hard enough.

Tip: unplug for an hour and leave the selfies for after your workout

You aren’t hitting any personal bests

This pertains to all things fitness. Are you running faster, are you lifting heavier and are your yoga poses easier? If you are not making progress then it is time to work harder.  Set yourself targets to reach and to beat as time goes on.

Tip: Make mental notes of the areas you aren’t making progress to improve them

You excuse your bad eating as long as you have exercised

Exercise is not an excuse to eat whatever you want! I think this is something a lot of us still have to learn unfortunately. Treat your body right after you have trained. Keep refueling it with all the nutritious meals you can and you will make progress.

Tip: Prepare a post-workout meal/shake so the post-workout munchies don’t derail you

Just remember ladies, quality over quantity. You do not have to kill yourself in the gym but you do need to make sure that the time you have set aside is used effectively. Nobody wants to spend hours in the gym and not see results.

Here is your reminder to get into the gym and own your workouts today (following these tips of course)



Isilda Da Costa is a personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist who, if she isn’t at the gym training, is busy researching the most up to date information for growing those muscles. She has combined her love of everything healthy by being a health coach in her own health shop in Swaziland. Follow along on

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