Upping the ante: should you increase duration or intensity?

Upping the ante: should you increase duration or intensity?

It’s a common question and an area of some confusion for people who have been training for a while, and want to up the ante somehow, to keep improving their fitness.

The fact is that both are important, because they both contribute to what’s called ‘progressive overload’. This is where you push your body harder so that you continue to improve your fitness and get more out of training. But which should you do first?

The general rule when you want to kick things up a notch, is that you should try increasing your duration to start with, because that’s less taxing on your body. So, if you’ve been walking or jogging for 30 minutes, try increasing that in five-minute increments to 40 or 45 minutes.

Then, when you’re comfortable with the extra time commitment, you can start upping the intensity. For example, you could add some hills or stairs into your jogging or walking route. Or, consider adding some intervals, such as increasing your speed for one-minute intervals, after every four minutes of jogging or walking.

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Martha Lourey-Bird | Sports & Exercise Scientist will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.