Measuring Intensity in Your Exercise Routine

How many times/weeks should I exercise? The answer we give as exercise professionals varies depending on the individual and their goals. Consistency and being specific when setting goals are key regardless of your current level of fitness. Below are some examples depending on your goals.


We always look at frequency, intensity and duration depending on your goals.

If you are competing for an athletic event or trying to lose weight, I recommend five to seven days/week.

If you are happy with where you currently are three to four days/week is enough to maintain.

What changes is the intensity and duration depending on goals. Regardless of your goal, I recommend two to three days of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

  • For example, below is a weight loss exercise program designed for five to seven days.

    Two to three days should be high intensity for 15 to 30 minutes. The best examples of this are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You can do HIIT in a gym using free weights and/or cardio equipment or at home using just your body weight. The goal is getting your heart rate up in zone four and five most of the time. You will be using more carbohydrates and increasing your capacity to perform work at high intensity.

    Check out Polar workouts on One titled Full-Body Home Workout: 8 Low Impact Exercises takes you through the following:

  • Plank with Knee Side to Side
  • Lunge Back and Forth
  • Pushup in Plank
  • Back Extension and Release
  • Kick Through
  • Side Lunge
  • Dip and Kick
  • Ankle Touch with Squat
  • Three to five days should be lower intensity for 45 plus minutes. You can do this by riding your bike leisurely or walking your dog around the neighborhood. The goal is keeping your heart rate in the lower zones two and three for most of the time. You will be burning more fat as fuel and building your endurance.
  • You should alternate days between HIIT and Endurance Training, so your body has time to recover.

    Heart rate is very individual and is a good indicator of your effort level. As you are working out you can see how hard you are working. Also, at the end of exercise your monitor will tell you how long you were in each zone. It can be a compliment to make sure to are getting the most from your workouts. Training heart rate is expressed in beats/minute or a percentage of your maximal heart rate. The most common way to estimate maximal heart rate is 220-Age. If you have done a treadmill test with us, you will find this number on your EKG report found on your patient portal. It will be more accurate than the estimation equation.

Getting the most from your training does not always mean working harder every day. Instead get better results and less injuries by training at the right intensity.

For more information on Heart Rate Training go to Also check out their monitors. They can help keep you on track with your goals.

Don’t Just Train Harder, Train Smarter!

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