Does A Harder Workout Mean a Better Workout? {Plus 2 FREE Workouts}

You're scrolling through Pinterest, you see a workout targeted at to get your legs "slim and sexy", it has 15 moves and you're like "yassss, Carrie Underwood legs here I come."

You get started and your legs are shaking, you can barley keep up, but you think "this means it's working".


Harder does not mean better.

Here's why:

  • There is a difference between sweating it out and efficiently working towards a goal
  • If you're trying to get stronger, jumping jacks and flutter kicks aren't the answer..sweat does not equal strength. 
  • Your movement should be done with purpose, ask yourself why? Why am I doing this?
  • You can make movement aligned with your fitness level and goals challenging but not defeating.

I get it, standing on a bosu ball with one leg while you do a bicep curl looks harder which registers in your brain as being more intense, more sweaty and more "YASS CLOSER TO MY GOALS."

Here's my question: what is your goal?

If someone told me they wanted to get leaner + get stronger, and they were a seemingly healthy, injury free woman. I would give her this as a lower body workout: Complete 3-4 rounds of A, then move to B for 3-4 rounds, then to C for 3-4 rounds, then she's done and can add the smart cardio (finisher) if desired. 

A1-Goblet squat x12

A2-RDL x10-12

B1-Back elevated glute bridge x25 (add weight if there)

B2-Lateral band walk x20 R/L

C1-Reverse lunge x10

C2-Stability ball hamstring curl x15

If we were there, and she had time, I would give her a quick finisher of:

Set a timer for 8 min and complete as many rounds as possible with good form:

  • 10 KB swings
  • 8 alternating jumping lunges R/L

Another workout would look like this for a day where she had less time:

Complete 5 rounds in as little time as possible (make sure to maintain good form):

  • 8 walking lunges R/L
  • 5 single arm push presses R/L
  • 10 KB swings

By programming her workout like these, she isn't completely fatiguing one specific muscle group. Which means she has enough time to recover and come back to each movement with proper strength and power. 

Where as, this workout was found on Pinterest:

It looks hard right? I mean look at those reps?

***PSA: I don't think anyone should do this workout. 

There is nothing admirable about pushing yourself to extremes, and leaving a workout feeling defeated. How likely are you to show up to something that not only leaves you not being able to walk for days, but something that made you feel defeated?

Instead, we program to meet you where you're at, choosing things for your fitness level and goals. 

Of course those other workouts with massive reps are going to take soooo long. 

Let me ask you a question, if you could get the 'toned' legs you want with less time spent + more efficient movement, would you choose that option or the one that makes you feel like garbage?

Also PS- 'when you say 'toned' you're talking about seeing muscle definition, which comes from strength training, like the workout I wrote above!

I know, now you're wondering—"but if spend less time, am I going to get the same results?".

YES. Because you're training smarter, not harder.

Even better, by doing things that actually align with your goals. 

Throwing a bunch of things that have to do with your legs into one workout doesn't mean it's good. 

I encourage you to do the following when it comes to your workouts:

  • Do things that are appropriate for your fitness level. I know, the idea of doing less seems counterintuitive, but trust me. This is the best way to build strength and honor your body in the quest of your goals. PLUS, when you feel good and empowered after a workout, you're way more likely to show up to it again. 
  • Ask questions! Does something seem excessive? Does something seem too advanced? Could you modify it to get the form down instead of repping out poor form?
  • Honor your pace, what you see others doing fast is clearly where they are at and not an inaction of where you need to be at.
  • Try your best not to grab free workouts from Pinterest, but instead, seek reliable and smart coaches + trainers. Listen, this is your one body. I know you want to feel good in it, but imagine how good you could feel if you progressed at a rate that honored YOU?

Training smarter doesn't sound cute and Pinteresty, but training harder isn't necessarily doing you any favors. 

Go ahead and use the workout above, try it out and YOU decide how you feel after. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at how what seems like a little, can actually be just what you need.

PPS- While that workout may not seem like a lot to some, it may also seem like a ton to others. Modify the reps as needed and also feel free to perform less sets. 

Have questions or want a workout designed for you, fancy that, that's what I do for a living. Contact me here.