One of the most common questions heard by personal trainers is, “How do I know if I’ve worked out hard enough?” After all, the last thing you want to do is put your time in at the gym only to get no results. Fortunately there are a few ways that you can answer that question.

Pay Attention to Your Heart Rate

First and foremost, your heart rate will tell you if your cardio workout is putting you in a fat loss zone or if you are barely boosting your metabolism enough to notice. Ideally, you want your heart rate to be between 65% and 85% of your resting heart rate when you are working out as that is where you will receive the most benefits.

You can do this by taking your pulse mid-workout or by purchasing and using a heart rate monitor. There are even some electronics that can correspond with an app, allowing you to keep track of your workouts quickly and easily.

Listen to Your Muscles

If it is strength training that you’re doing, your heart rate won’t necessarily go to the levels that it does when you are doing cardio, so you’re going to have to listen to your muscles instead. This requires that you concentrate on what you’re doing when you’re working out with resistance bands, weights, or machines and making sure your muscles are burning, but not stricken with debilitating pain.

Use a Scale

Another option when it comes to determining whether you’re working your body at an appropriate intensity is to assess how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10. You want to be somewhere in the 7 to 8 range during the core of your workout, so if you’re not there, you need to kick it up a notch.

If It Hurts, Stop

If at any time in your workout you don’t feel right or something hurts, stop. There is no point hurting yourself. Get checked out medically if you need to or, at a minimum, at least rest before continuing.

What method do you use to determine whether you’ve worked out hard enough?