Health / Expert Advice

How Do I Know If I’m Ready for Advanced Workouts?

Aaptiv trainer Jenn Giamo breaks down how to make the transition from intermediate workouts to advanced.

You’ve blown past the beginner level and moved comfortably into that intermediate category.

You’ve worked hard and progressed here and now maybe it’s time for those coveted advanced-level workouts. They seem like a fun challenge, right?

Before you dive headfirst into longer intervals, faster speeds, and heavier weights with Aaptiv, let’s explore what it really takes to level up—and how to know when you’re ready for advanced workouts.

Who is considered advanced?

I would consider an advanced level exerciser—athlete, trainee, etc.—to be someone familiar with their body and the muscle groups, who understands and employs proper technique and form, and who has achieved the majority of their fitness goals in one category or more.

For example, you can be an advanced runner, but a beginner weightlifter by doing running classes and strength training in the Aaptiv app.

I encourage anyone trying to transition entirely from intermediate to advanced-level work to give your body and mind the time it needs to get there.

This should take around six to 12 months. Use this time to better understand how your body responds to exercise. Experiment with different training methods.

Just because you can get through an advanced workout or class doesn’t mean your body was necessarily ready for it. It’s critical to know the primary and secondary muscles required to complete certain exercises or workouts.

This transition is for learning how to really listen to your body to avoid pushing too hard and risking injury.

What else should I pay attention to?

Fueling Your Body

At any stage in your fitness journey, it’s important to know and understand the tenants of proper nutrition and how food affects your workouts.

As you increase the intensity of your exercise routine, your nutritional requirements change, too. If you’re working out longer or more intensely, you’ll probably need to increase your caloric intake to properly fuel your body before and after exercise.

All the major macronutrient groups play a specific and important role in your body’s ability to heal and build muscle. So, take note of how your body responds to certain foods and meals and adjust your nutrition accordingly.

Rest

Given the increased intensity of your routine, pay close attention to rest and recovery. This will change as your body is adapting to your advanced workouts. It’s important to understand how much rest each muscle group needs before training it at such a high level again.

Rest is particularly important in this transition phase as your body adjusts to your new energy output. Schedule rest days into your weekly workout schedule.

Start with two or three per week to give your muscles the time they need to recover and grow. Ninety-five percent of gains occur while we sleep after all.

Good v. Bad Pain

Knowing the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain” is essential for advanced workouts. This is why listening to your body is so important. It’s easy to fall back on the old faithful “no pain, no gain” line to push through grueling workouts. But don’t.

There’s a big distinction between pain, discomfort, and muscle soreness. Don’t ever push through the pain for the sake of gains or another sprint or mile. Stop exercising immediately and assess the situation.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a part of any challenging fitness routine. But sharp or shooting pains shouldn’t be. Talk to your doctor about any lasting or increasing pain before continuing with any workouts—advanced or otherwise.

Why do I want to be advanced?

Okay, now that we’ve covered how to move up to advanced workouts, it’s time to ask yourself why you want to. Usually, when moving from intermediate to advanced, it means you’re no longer getting specific results with your current workouts. There are a few things to consider when you ask yourself why you want to level up.

Your Goals

First, think about your primary goals. Do you want to build muscle or get more toned? Do you want to run longer or faster? Do you want to finish a marathon? What’s most important is that your goals are individual to you. Once you decide what your goals are and why you want to try advanced workouts, you can focus on those areas of improvement with workouts that best suit you.

Your Real Life

Always be honest with yourself about what your body can do and your current physical abilities. This will help you develop the correct training plan for yourself.

Don’t push too hard too fast just because someone next to you is more advanced. We’re all different and need to train according to our abilities and our bodies. You can always modify up within your Aaptiv training program, too. For example, if you can do an advanced level push-up variation but you can’t do a pull-up, incorporate both exercises into your routine.

Fitness programs are created for various levels for a reason. Consider your daily life and set realistic expectations for yourself. Take into account what works best for your body and gradually add in advanced versions of your current Aaptiv workouts.

This is how you can build your comfort level and, eventually, your overall level of experience.

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