Intensity - how much is too much?

Jun 3, 2023

 by Travis Ehrhardt

A lot of people ask me about how hard they should workout or exercise. The mentality of the harder I work, the better I will be, has its limitations and even more so as we age, deal with injuries, chronic pain or neurologic disorders, like multiple sclerosis. Do we do more when we feel good? Do we push through pain or fatigue? Do we slow down and “waste time”?

If a 15-minute workout is good, would a 30-minute workout be better?

If a 30-minute workout is good, would a 60-minute workout be better?

If a 60-minute workout is good, would a 90-minute workout be better?

We already live in a culture of people who feel like they need to work to exhaustion to get a "good workout".

In fact, a lot of people still subscribe to the "no pain - no gain" philosophy and that couldn't be further from the truth, especially while dealing with multiple sclerosis.

We use what we refer to as “prescriptive model”. This means our approach unique and individualized, we take a lot off considerations in to account when we work with our clients, here are some examples:



What are the consequences of working out too hard? 

  • If you do too much, how do you feel? How does it affect your activity, ability to be consistent with exercise and energy for the next 24, 48 or 72 hours?
  • Do you have tendencies to do too much and pay a price for that?
  • Do you practice and recovery or active recovery activities? (massage, rest, stretching, hydration, etc.,) that help you recover faster?


What is the risk vs. benefit?

  • If the goal is to gain strength or flexibility - what are the risks involved? 
  • Are those risk easy to overcome or would they be a hinderance to our goals? If a hinderance, how much of a setback would it be?
  • If the risk is small, like minor fatigue, then we just plan for recovery. If the risk is greater, like a strained muscle, we don't want to have interruptions in your training.


Let's re-examine your goals if you have you have. short term goal with measurable results, we can determine how hard you must work to achieve that goal.

  • Goal setting is hard, but we strive for specifics.
  • We also look for ways to measure where you are and where you want to be.
  • Sometimes goals start out general and 'fuzzy', we can help you narrow that down and get to the center of your desire for change/improvement


We want to focus on efficiency, meaning maximizing results and minimizing excess.

  • Our role is to help provide the best solution and plan for you, based on all this information.
  • We want you to hit your goals as soon as possible and then maintain them and add new ones.
  • We look for the best, safest, smartest route for you base on history of exercise, health conditions, personality, motivation, timeline, physical ability, etc.

It is never a "one size fits all", there are many factors that go into planning goals and working on health and wellness. 

And to further complicate things, we consider, weather, stress, nutrition and other aspects of our lives that play a major role in our ability to regulate consistency and intensity.

We provide very personalized plans and help guide you through them!

These are all considerations we take into account when people ask us about longer/harder workouts,