How To: Tell if You Got in a Good Workout

August 11, 2020

Some days you leave the gym feeling like a freaking rock star. Other days, you barely make it home from your run, covered in sweat and gasping for breath. What’s the deal? Are the best sessions the ones where you totally find your edge (and maybe even cross it), or are they the ones where you’re super energized après workout? 

First, let’s be clear. Listening to your body is so key. If you feel like you’re completely and utterly tanked after your workout, it’s probably a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard. Don’t forget to take those rest days! 

But beyond that, there are some indicators you can look out for to help you decide if your workout was super or subpar. Here are a few benchmarks. 

Use the talk test

If you’re one of those people who tracks your heart rate during exercise, good on you. That’s an ideal way to make sure you’re pushing yourself enough to grow but not overdoing it. But for those of us who can’t be bothered to check in with metrics, there’s a much easier way to make sure we’re getting in a solid workout. Try the talk test. 

Can you hold a conversation easily? Ramp up your effort. But if you’re so gassed you can’t imagine grunting out more than a word or two, scale back. If you think of an exertion scale where 0 is a Netflix binge and 10 is working out so hard there’s no way you could get a single word out, aim for a 7. 

Check in with your sleep

One of thebiggest benefits of regular, quality exercise is the way it helps you drift off without counting too many sheep and stay asleep ‘til you’ve got to get up. If you’re tossing and turning at night, it could be indicative that you’re either not exercising enough or you’re overtraining. 

Watch how you feel after

A great workout should leave you feeling a little fatigued but ultimately energized. It’s also a good sign if you’re hungry after since it’s indicative your body used some fuel to power you through your sweat sesh. (And don’t forget, ICONIC is here for a delish grab-and-go refuel option so you can treat yourself after you slay your workout.) 

All told, a good workout should make you feel good. Sure, during it you might have been hating life, but you should feel awesome after. If you’re completely spent, it’s probably time for a rest day. 

See? Figuring out if you’ve had a good workout doesn’t require an Excel spreadsheet. Use these tips, listen to your body, and take the guesswork out of your workouts. 

Be well,


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