Definition – Fulcrum66

People become motivated to start exercising for a copious amount of reasons. Some of us want to change what we look like or want to feel better overall healthwise. When a person chooses to go to the gym they must acknowledge the factors that will affect them in the long run. The level of workout intensity is one of the first things a person should consider. This is the level at which you will work with and will determine the following potential outcome. In a study conducted by Kate Stych and Gaynor Parfitt, they explain a intensity-affect-adherence chain which resulted from the study. The study was based on a group of adolescent females and males, and were tested on a range of intensities listed from above, at, and below using an aerobic bicycle. The basis of the test is what level of intensity will affect you differently and sway you to wanting to either not repeat it or repeat it. When looking into this subject this chain of events will allow you to make a personal decision on how you will start your exercise. 

The level of intensity will be the first decision a person will make when beginning their exercise. Levels can range from low, medium, or high and can be conducted with any physical activity and respectful duration. To begin a low intensity leveled workout should be something that is below a moderate paced workout. This could include a light cardio workout to light weight training. In Stych and Parfitt’s study they used light aerobic activity to stimulate low intensity movement. A moderate intensity workout would be considered your average workout. This level should be based on what you can do as an individual or where you’re at in your own physical fitness level. In the Stych and Parfitt study, the individuals were tested on a self selected intensity and it states, “ Select an intensity that you would be able to do for fifteen minutes and that you would consider doing regularly.”(Stych and Parfitt 2011) The final intensity, high or above, would be considered pushing yourself to the limits in any physical activity. This level is above what you can do regularly and forces you to do so.  The individuals in the Stych and Parfitt study experienced a challenging resistance, with the level of resistance being above what the adolescents could regularly due. The intensity of the workout will determine the amount of effort you put into it and how hard you work yourself.

Not only will intensity determine your workout, but also your body’s recovery and how it will feel after whatever you put it through. The results of a low intensity workout will lead to a quicker recovery time. Author, Liam McAulife, who wrote the article, “Low Intensity Exercise: Health Benefits” explains how your body should feel post exercise. McAuliffe explains, “On a physiological level low-intensity exercises increase your aerobic capacity.”(McAuliffe 2022) With a light workout not only will your body recover faster, but your respiration endurance as well. This could possibly strengthen your body and be the basis for future higher intensity workouts. With a moderate intensity we see not as much of a faster recovery. This intensity is slightly challenging towards your body and with it being a little harder than a lower intensity there may be some muscle soreness and fatigue. Going back to the basis of this workout, it’s based on what you can do as an individual and so going above that will lead to an increase in the chance of injury or soreness. The best way to make sure you do not “overdo” the workout is to see how you feel going into it and only doing movements based on how you’re feeling in the present moment, and not exceeding this limit. A high intensity workout is the hardest intensity you will put on your body. You are pushing yourself farther from the normal routine, more so from the other intensities. When doing these exercises it is extremely important to consider your safety. First of all, a person who is seeking fitness for the first time should never start off with a high intensity workout. If done improperly, the workout will cause injury. When deciding your workout intensity it is very important to know who you are as an individual and your own personal fitness level to create a fitness plan perfect for you. 

Your adherence to working out is the final outcome that is determined by the intensity of your exercise. Adherence can be defined as the attachment or commitment to a person, cause, or belief. In the fitness domain we see adherence being a person’s decision to return to exercising and staying committed to improving themselves physically. Mental and physical barriers can affect one’s adherence and motivation to repeat a cycle of daily exercise. Looking back on the intensities, if it’s your first time going to a gym or athletic facility, beginning with a higher intensity instead of slowly advancing is not a good idea. Not only will you be at risk of injury, but it may give a negative mindset to not continue. By starting off with a light intensity workout a person may have a better mindset and understanding so they will be able to repeat a possible workout schedule. Having a good adherence to exercise by forming a proper schedule is the only way you will have the mindset to be committed to self improvement.

In conclusion exercise is a way for people to improve themselves on a physical level. Choosing the correct intensity will determine how your body feels after and your adherence to exercise. This is especially important for first timers so they can have the best gym experience possible and what to further their self improvement. A person’s mindset over all will be the greatest factor for exercise adherence, and based on the intensity and recovery of the workout they went through will determine their overall mindset for the long-run. 


Home. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from

McAuliffe, L. (2022, May 6). Low Intensity Exercises: Health Benefits and Types – Dr. Robert Kiltz. Doctor Kiltz. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from

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