Fitness IS HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING RIGHT FOR EVERYONE? The pros to working hard include increased stamina, muscle development, weight loss, the ability to do daily tasks with more ease and perhaps the most rewarding side effect is the confidence boost of knowing one can accomplish more than they thought possible. However, high intensity training may not be right for everyone. Those with physical injuries or medical conditions should consult their doctors about what is safe for them. Vigorous training can also be dangerous if not approached carefully. While exercise naturally causes muscle breakdown and repair for building strength, excessive training has the potential to cause serious injury if not done with appropriate supervision. Extreme training, particularly in untrained athletes, can also lead to rhabdomyolysis, also known as “rhabdo,” or extreme breakdown of muscle tissue. Rhabdomyolysis can lead to kidney failure or in extreme cases, death. While uncommon, it’s something to be aware of when determining appropriate levels of activity.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ACTIVITY?
BY LINDSEY JOHNSON
The term “beast mode” has become common slang, but what does it really mean? According to Urban Dictionary, beast mode is defined as the “mode that you switch into when doing hardcore activities; having beast-like characteristics.” Most often, it’s used to describe someone who works at high intensity in the gym. They use beast-like qualities to accomplish great physical feats, such as lifting heavy weights, running long distances or completing difficult movements. Athletes who train at high intensity are sometimes called “beasts” because they give 150% effort during their workouts and push themselves to the limit. Sometimes these are also the people who may look very fit or have a well-defined muscular physique. Athletes who train at high intensity do so for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they’re training for an athletic competition; working to increase strength or endurance; training for a job-related physical assessment; working to prove to themselves that they are capable of difficult feats; or sometimes simply for stress relief. 18
WELLNESS360 | MARCH/APRIL 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults complete at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, or the equivalent combination of moderate and intense activity per week. The guidelines also recommend strength activities at least twice per week, working all major muscle groups. These guidelines serve as a minimum recommended amount for most adults. Each and every person has unique needs and preferences. While there are minimum recommendations for activity, how these are achieved will look different for everyone. For some, that may be outdoor hiking with a backpack, and others will be intense training in the gym. The most important part is finding something sustainable that brings joy, relief and satisfaction. If "Beast Mode" sounds intimidating, stick with something that will keep you moving and smiling. The most important thing is not how you do it, but that you do it.