How to safely increase your training intensity during lockdown

Increase intenisty

Even short exercise sessions at home can deliver benefits during lockdown, if you’re consistent.

By banking regular workouts, you’ll likely get to a point where exercise starts to feel a little easier and that’s your signal to up the intensity.

Keep making progress

As our bodies are smart and adapt to change quickly, it’s necessary to modify your routine every 2 to 4 weeks to keep making progress.

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Mariska Meyer, a qualified biokineticist at Virgin Active Faerie Glen, has five easy-to-follow steps to help you take your workouts to the next level.

  1. Increase the number of repetitions. Instead of stopping at 20, perform 30-40 reps.
  2. Decrease your resting time. In-between sets, try not to rest for longer than 30 seconds.
  3. Add another set. If you’ve done 2-3 sets, don’t be shy to add a fourth. You’ll get used to it sooner than you think.
  4. Perform shorter and longer sessions with different heart rates. Short sessions should be tough with a 75-85% heart-rate max while longer sessions should have a 55-70% heart-rate max.
  5.  Add variations to your exercises, such as splitting the reps, varying the speed, doing cardio between sets, freezing the move or adding compound exercises to isolated movements.

Find the balance

Meyer advises that you should never overtrain as it can decrease your critically needed immune system.

“There’s no need to spend an 80-90% heart-rate max for more than 60-90 minutes unless you’re an athlete training for an event. And if you experience any chest pain or dizziness, stop exercising immediately.”

For more training tools, contact Mariska on mariskavd88@gmail.com and follow Virgin Active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily workouts.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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