Should your work out be vigorous?

Good morning!

At our No Finish Line Fitness Center we train individuals, from 16 to 76 years of age. All our training is vigorous but varies based on goals, capability, physical health and needs. The word vigorous can be somewhat scary and even intimidating, but if properly executed, “vigorous training” offers tremendous benefit to all ages.

“Vigorous” exercise incites thoughts of kettlebells flying, steps being run up, boxes being jumped on and other types of scary exercises that often appear unsafe. For sure, some exercises can be unsafe if done incorrectly or not appropriate for the individual, but well thought out and executed vigorous exercises can be safe. Always seek a doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program and the next wise step is find the right program for you.

The right program is key to both safety and results. As I said at the top, we train people at opposite ends of the age spectrum and a vigorous program looks vastly different. Whereas one population can safely do box jumps of 2 to even 4 feet high, another population can get a vigorous workout by using a rowing machine. Form and proper technique are as important to a younger population as it is to older folks. Using kettlebells (Crossfit) is a great way to train and adds a level of intensity that benefits all ages. However, I strongly suggest, regardless of age, everyone spends one on one time with a trainer learning proper technique before they jump into a Crossfit class. Vigorous training has tremendous fitness value, but also has a great deal of injury risk if not done correctly and guidance from a professional trainer is the best way minimize the possibility of injury.

So why train vigorously?

Science continues to supply findings which support the tremendous value of “vigorous” and “high intensity” workouts. In some cases, high intensity training enables as much gain in half the time, but for me, the greatest sell job, is the overall benefits to our fitness and help with weight management. The following study is just one of many that I have reviewed and provide valuable training methodology.

To be adamantly clear, vigorous, or high intensity training, should be individual appropriate and doctor approved. Initially, we train our clients conservatively and as they progress; we incorporate exercises that are appropriately challenging and more vigorous. Using heart rate (MyZone), we can measure and monitor the intensity of each exercise and the overall workout. In many instances people workout with the goal of high intensity, but without actual feedback (heart rate), they must go based on perceived exertion. Perceived exertion may be okay in some cases, but often our intensity level is not as high as we might believe.

What is considered vigorous for me and for our client Wyeth (16 years old), is quite different because of our age differences or other factors. However, we can both do vigorous exercises, but they may be different or with less vigor ??. As we get older, we often become more fearful of challenging exercises, and therefore we make sure our clients feel safe as we challenge them. We do not have clients do any exercise that we are not fully confident is safe and effective.

Getting the most out of our workouts is our goal and adding some vigor may be helpful.


We need volunteers! For the past 5 years, NFLF has managed the Dover Apple Harvest Day 5K race and we are excited to be back at it this year. We need volunteers on October 1st and 2nd for the following:

  • Friday night 4:00 to 7:00 bib pickup and registration (Henry Law Park)
  • Course marshals – 7:30am to 9:30
  • Water stop - 7:30 to 9:30
  • Day of bib pick up and registration - 6:45 to 8:30
  • Set up and misc. – 6:45 to 9:30

Saturday October 2

We welcome kids from ages 14 and older and will provide letters for anyone wanting to receive credit.

This is a fun event and anyone who is willing to help us out will receive 2 free training sessions at No Finish Line Fitness. Contact me at to volunteer or further questions.

Have a great weekend and God Bless!

Coach Mike

*May we take a moment to remember the tragic event of 20 years ago. Lest we never forget 9-11. May God continue to comfort all those who lost love ones and those who are still suffering from that sad day. God Bless!