Intensity Levels Question

  • As I was reading through my Body for Life book, and reviewing the information on the website, I am unclear as to what qualifies as, i.e. intensity level 5? My cardio will be done mainly on the treadmill, if this helps, so, what is considered a level 5, 6, 7 and so on?

  • I found the easiest way to determine that is to determine your 10 first, which is all out, can't possibly go any faster.  If you're on a machine at the gym, it should give you some type of readout, and you should be able to figure out the rest.  If you're outdoors, it's a little more guesswork.  For outdoor stuff, I tend to modify my cardio and do 30 second all out bursts, followed by 30 second medium level, after you do a few minutes warm-up.  I tend to like this better sometimes.  Do 30 second bleacher bursts and watch your legs scream (don't recommend this the day after legs workouts).  Hope I helped!  Good luck!


  • Thank you very much!!!!

  • I concur. It's about "perceived" exertion and of course for each person the level of activity to reach each level of intensity will be different.  

    For me, a Level 5 is walking at 3 mph

    A level 6 is 3.3

    Level 7 is 3.5

    Level 8 is 5 mph jog

    Level 9 is 6 mph run

    Level 10 is 7 mph run

    Being the nerd and tech geek that I am I used some technology in my favor to hep with this. :) I use a bluetooth hr strap that pairs with my IPhone and I run an app called Digifit. It provides real time tracking of heart rate and shows it on a graph. To set this up for me, I exercised at different perceived exertion levels and took note of the avg. heart rate and labeled each zone per Body for Life levels.

    Then, when I do a HIIT I can check to see how my heart rate is progressing through those zones. Sometimes I feel like I could run a hair harder, but I look at my heart rate and see that I'm in my zone, so I keep it where I am. Now, over time, as my heart rates begin to drop I'll bump up the intensity to get my heart rate back into those zones.

    I know this is far more technical then doing things the way Body for Life book talks about, but I think if we can leverage all tools to our advantage to help gauge how our bodies are actually responding to the training and see where we can make adjustments as necessary, it can be helpful.

    Best of luck, Andy.

  • This is awesome; thank you very much for your reply!