How To Tell If You're Working Out Hard Enough

“Sam, am I working hard enough?”  

Nine times out of 10 I know if I’m being asked this question that the answer is no. I also know that there are many scaredy cats out there who won’t even ask the question, as they already know what the answer will be. I hate to break it to you everyone, but what I always say is that to really change your body and break through that plateau you must get comfortable being uncomfortable.

I should preface this point by saying that this is aimed at people that have been training for a little while, not absolute beginners. This is for those people whose bodies have started to adapt and they’re now wondering what is needed to instigate change. The important thing to understand is that there are many ways to do this. Taking things up a level does not simply mean longer or more painful workouts. Some of my favourite ways to supercharge results and ensure my clients are working hard enough are:


Do you always do the things that you are good at or do you get out of your comfort zone and work on your weaknesses?

Training with a buddy

When was the last time you trained with someone fitter than you? Every now and then I like to train with someone who will push me to limits I didn’t know I had. I know the workout will be hard but I also know that I will reap the rewards.

Interval training

Stairs, ramps, sprints, assault bike, fartlek training- these are just a handful of my favourite types of interval training. When was the last time you swapped that steady state jog for something that had you spiking your heart rate?


There is a reason boxers are some of the fittest athletes in the world and trust me, this is something you don’t understand until you put the gloves on yourself. Agility strength, speed, power and conditioning is required to be a great boxer and their endurance is unbelievable.

Wear a heart rate monitor

If you really want to know if you’re working hard enough – invest in a good quality heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor can give you the best indicator of your exercise intensity in any workout and this feedback on your exertion may be just the nudge you need to increase your work rate.

The key message here is that taking your training to another level can be done in a multiple of ways. There is no right or wrong. Change up your training, shock your body and reap the benefits – mental and physical.

Sam Wood is Australia’s favourite personal trainer. Gym owner, founder of Gecko Sports, creator of 28 by Sam Wood and proud family man. Beyond his business success, Sam is also a regular media contributor with frequent online, radio and television appearances. Sam combines 17 years industry experience, an unwavering passion to make a difference and his charismatic personality to deliver refreshingly honest and relatable messages to tens of thousands of people every day. As the pioneer of children’s fitness, owner of Australia’s biggest personal training gym and creator of 28 by Sam Wood there is no question that Sam is one of Australia’s leading fitness experts.

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