April 23, 2019 | Jason Feairheller at Function & Strength
What are some of the ways to know you are actually making progress in the gym? For most people they will just say they feel stronger, or more conditioned. Although you might feel tired or sore after a workout, that's not a good indication you are making progress.
Here are some definitive signs you are making progress:
Decreased Resting Heart Rate
Heart Rate recovers quicker after a set of exercise
You get stonger! You are actually lifting more weight
You are able to do new movements or exercises you weren't capable of doing before
Monitoring your heart rate is the best way to determine what kind of shape you are in. When you get in better shape it will take more work to elevate your heart rate. Therefore your resting heart will decrease when you are on a good conditioning program. Along those lines, when you workout at max effort and your heart rate reaches its max or close to max (220-age), your heart rate will come back down more quickly to resting levels than someone who is not in good shape. At Function and Strength we believe in using this heart rate data to get the most out of every workout.
Lifting more weight, or doing more advanced exercises are the easiest ways to notice if you are making progress in the gym. If you don't continue to challenge yourself or change your program you will eventually reach a point where you don't see continued results.