Signs You Had a Good Workout

Learn when you've had enough and when you can do more

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Exercising is a lot more than a way to look pretty and stay healthy and fit. Working out results in having more energy, feeling happier, being more self-confident and in many more physical and mental benefits.

The most frequent feeling you get, however, during your training is “like you’re going to die.” Chances are that this is not going to happen and that you actually have a lot more energy to keep exercising. Realistically measuring how long you can go on depends on several factors such as heart rate, muscle fatigue, hunger, intensity

A quality workout doesn’t have to be long at all despite what your ultimate goal is. Building muscle of losing weight is obtainable with 20-minute workouts as opposed to an hour at the gym (who has so much free time anyway…). Maintaining your weight doesn’t need a lot more than half an hour of brisk walk every day and eating right.

The criteria are the same but how much of it is personal. A person usually sweats between 0.8 and 1.4 liters in an hour of exercising. If your workout is the same, soreness isn’t an accurate answer either. The body is smart and it adapts to regular trainings. So soreness and drinking more water is not an accurate sign if you’ve had a good session. The same goes for muscle pain and lack of energy. That’s why changing your routine is necessary with time but the signs of a good workout are the same.

Muscle Fatigue

Have you ever hear of the jelly muscles? It’s when you are working out wat to hard and your muscle feel extremely tired during reps or right after. For example, you lift weight and then you can barely lift your hands up. If that happens, drink lots of water and rest. Have some chocolate milk to help with the muscle recovery and rest. If you keep going you risk injury.


A “burning” feeling in your muscles while weightlifting doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working out hard. It could just be lack of oxygen. It may sound scary but your muscles tear during an exercise. They recover easily when you rest. Such tears are needed in order to build lean muscle and increase a metabolism; so a little soreness is a sign of a good workout.


This is pretty straight forward. People who have had a quality workout usually have a better night sleep, according to studies.

Heart Rate

Use a heart monitor. It’s the best indicator of whether you are exercising within your comfort zone because it shows you your heart rate at every moment so you know to stop when you reach your maximum. Reach the rate at which your muscles begin to feel the burn, which technically means that the body is producing lactic acid which is necessary for burning calories. Maintain this heart rate for half the time you intend to do the cardio exercise. Remember that with time you’ll have to increase the intensity of your cardio workout.


Feeling hungry right after a workout is a good sign. You need fuel to recover. You’re likely to have cravings for foods that have carbs which the body uses for energy. Try to eat no more than 30 minutes after exercising. Your body will use the calories (energy) right away to cool down, which means retaining less fat. Bonus, it will recover faster because it’s getting proper nutrients.

Remember that quality is always more important and better than quantity. Working seven days a week for an hour is not beneficial. Instead, try exercising 40 minutes four days a week but increase the intensity of your workout. The point is to work as hard as you can in a shorter amount of time. Run (or do any other type of cardio) hard for a minute, then rest. Repeat a few times and move on to resistance training. Use the burned carbs to fuel your strength workout.

More readings: 

15 Workouts to Do in 15 Minutes or Less

Why Rest Days are Just as Important as Working Out

How to Recover From an Injury While Still Training