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6 things that don't equate to a good workout

A "good" workout is all relative. There are metrics we've been taught to rely on equating to a "good" workout, but does it actually mean it's productive or effective? Not necessarily. Let's do a little myth busting on what does not equal a good workout. 1. Amount of sweat. Two people doing the same workout with the same intensity will produce completely different sweat rates based on genetics and other personal factors. This does not mean one person had a better workout than the other. 2. Amount of soreness. Feeling sore is not a sign of how the workout went. You could be sore from a dumpy workout or you could be sore from a decent workout. Feeling sore every now and then is fairly normal when following progressive overload and/or if exercises have changed. Feeling sore for more than two days or feeling like it's challenging to complete day to day tasks is not normal. Soreness level could be due to several other factors including nutrition, sleep, or stress, but not necessarily the workout itself. 3. More exercises. More isn't always better. Depending on the person, a workout including 6-8 exercises could be completely manageable and effective. Workouts that include 15+ exercises doesn't make it more effective. In fact, it's fair to say reducing the amount of exercises and focusing on progressive overload with structured rest times is likely more productive. 4. Workout duration. Similar to number three, a longer session doesn't necessarily mean it is more effective. A 45-minute workout could be more effective than a 90-minute workout depending on the person and the programming. 5. High-intensity training. As we discussed recently, there is a place for high-intensity training in a program, but high-intensity for most sessions is not the goal. A combination of low-, moderate-, and high-intensity will produce results. 6. Amount of calories burned. First things first, what your watch says for calories burning is incorrect, therefore isn't a helpful metric. Secondly, the main benefits that come from strength and endurance training have nothing to do with calories burned. What equates to a "good" workout is how you feel overall (mood, energy, sleep, strength, endurance, etc.).


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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