Not sure if your workout actually did you any good this time ‘round? If you’re worried about your progress in the gym, chances are there’s a good reason for it. Check out this list to find out if you’re performing as efficient (#beastmode) as you want to be.
9 Signs to Know if You’ve Completely Gone #Beastmode
1) Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
DOMS, one of the three contributing factors for muscular growth, is the micro tearing of muscle tissues you experience after exercise. It’s also the reason you take the elevator at work and sadness you feel each time you go to the bathroom.
DOMS is a definite sign your last workout came as a challenge to you, though it’s not always the best sign of progress. Intense DOMS do not necessarily equal extreme progress as once thought, as if not properly recovered from, will limit the effectiveness of your next workout.
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The more difficult your workout, the faster your heart will beat. A wearable heart rate monitor will allow you to see just how fast your heart rate becomes in real time (or, if you’re financially responsible..ahem cheap… like me, you’ll opt for the good old finger on the pulse method. If you don’t need a wearable device or the finger on the pulse method because everyone in the gym can hear the beats hammering through your chest – stop what you’re doing and call a doctor.
3) Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
This is a method used by many strength and conditioning coaches and it involves rating the difficulty of your workout out on a scale of 1- 10.
Judge how you feel and how you performed in this workout and compare it to the workouts from previous days. Generally, scoring a one means you’re probably asleep, anything over a five illustrates a moderate to intense effort, while a score of 10 is a near death experience (aka. Way too #beastmode).
4) Hunger (Aka. The Hangrys)
Cravings can be a signal from your body telling your brain that some vital nutrients have been depleted and need replenishing. Typically, a solid workout will have you feeling peckish for carbohydrate sources such as starchy potatoes or sugary fruits.
As long as you don’t give into pizza and soda cravings, you’re on the right track.
5) The Pump!
Eyyyaaaahhhh! Getting (briefly) swole! When you workout your heart shuttles oxygenated blood to the muscles. If your workout is challenging, you should feel and see your muscles growing, your veins popping and time spent in front of the gym mirror increasing.
6) You Find The Sweet Spot of the Rep Range
Let’s say you’re going to do squats and your set calls for 10 reps. If you choose a weight that’s too heavy, you may only get 1 or 2 reps tops. If you choose a weight that is too light, you could be hitting reps until your next birthday. Make sure you select a weight for your workout that allows you to find your sweet spot, roughly 1 to 2 reps shy of failure. So, if your set calls for 10 reps you want to reach 10 knowing you would have failed at 12.
7) You’re Sweating!
This one’s a no-brainer. Sweat is your body’s attempt to cool you down as things heat up in your workout. Remember to always bring a towel with you, as excited you may be to get work done, others in the gym will be grossed out by a human waterfall.
8) The Need for More Oxygen
The more active you become, the more oxygen your body needs to produce energy allowing your muscles to contract and relax efficiently. A sure sign you’re working out hard is heard in your excess puffing and panting as you suck that O2 into your system.
9) Mental Focus After a Workout
A good workout affects not only your muscles but also your brain. The triggering of neurotransmitter hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins improves your mood by promoting feelings of happiness.
You can also test the effects of your workout on your brain by how focused you feel. Generally, a good workout will turn your focus razor sharp during your session. If you found it difficult to concentrate before, during and after your workout, then I’m afraid you may not have reached your full #beastmode potential.