Our Fitness Blog
Increase Your Fitness Ceiling
Individuals choose to work out for many different reasons of course. One of the most common is simply to improve overall health and fitness and change their body composition. When it comes to working out, it can be very common thinking for individuals to feel that working out harder and more intense is the key to success. And on the surface, this sort of sounds right, make sense? Why would working out harder not be better?
Well, this could not be further from the truth. Working out harder/more intense is not the key to success. Rather, working out smarter is the key to success. All of us are at a certain fitness level. This is what I call our "current fitness reality." And depending on our current fitness level and our current fitness reality, we have a fitness ceiling. Now, the key is to increase/raise this fitness ceiling. In order to increase the fitness ceiling, we have to improve our overall aerobic endurance and efficiency. Efficiency is this… Teaching the body to be able to go longer, harder, faster at the same or lower heart rate. Read that one more time, that's a very critical statement. Basically, we are training the heart to beat as slow as possible and at the same time, move the body as fast as possible.
Now knowing what the goal of building efficiency is, let's look at what happens when individuals adopt the mindset, "harder is better" when they perform their workouts. The harder this individual goes, the higher their heart rate and they're putting a lot of stress on their heart. And, when the individual just simply goes hard all the time during their workouts, all they are doing is bumping up into their fitness ceiling. They are not doing anything to increase their fitness ceiling. And this is the phenomenon that occurs when individuals look back over the past few months and say, "I've been working out so hard, and I'm just not getting any results. I should've lost a lot more weight/body fat by now working out this hard."
Now, there are a lot of factors that play into this, but we are just going to focus on the intensity component for right now. Sure, this individual worked out hard and they continue to bump up against their fitness ceiling but they did not work out smart and therefore, never increased their fitness ceiling. This is how we want to approach every workout moving forward. When you walk into your 9R facility, the goal is not to go as hard as you can. Remember, this is a 30-minute workout and a 30-minute nonstop workout. There's no rest; in between each round you are working. The goal is to keep the body moving, nonstop, for the entire 30 minutes. So the goal each time is to work out smarter and the way we gauge this is by working out in the right heart rate zones using the my zone heart rate training system.
If you are new to training by heart rate, you may find that you have to work out in a much lower intensity in order to stay in the proper heart rate zones "green and yellow." The key to increasing our efficiency and increasing our fitness ceiling is patience. This is a very patient and methodical approach, it does not happen overnight, it takes time. As you continue to stick with this process and you continue to work out smart and stay within the proper heart rate zones, in time, you will find yourself working out longer, harder, faster, more intense at the same or lower heart rates. I can promise you this, when you see this start to happen, look out; you have just reached an entirely new level of overall fitness. And you have just increased your fitness ceiling.
If you are of the mindset, harder is better, no worries; today's a new day and let’s start to make the change mentally so that we can start to make the change physically. Smarter is better and we want to approach every workout just like that, train smarter for better results. As you start to see your efficiency increase and your fitness ceiling increase, you will feel better, healthier & stronger than ever and you will be well on your way to achieving the goals you have set forth for yourself.
Dr. Rick Kattouf II
2x Best-Selling Author
Named One Of The World Fitness Elite® Trainers Of The Year