How to Judge a Workout in Ways Other Than Calorie Count

Fitness Tips

How to Judge a Workout in Ways Other Than Calorie Count

It’s always tempting to think of a “successful” workout as one that burns a lot of calories. But aren’t there other reasons we work out? Aren’t there other measurements to judge a workout than just calories burned? There sure are! Below are 5 methods of judging the quality and productivity of your workout outside of the calorie count. Using these metrics may put the success of your workout in a new light.


Almost everyone remembers that first workout and how hard everything seemed. Five minutes on the bike felt like five hours – a pushup seemed like an impossible task. And yet, after a few trips to the gym, five minutes on the bike seemed like an easy warm-up. Ten push-ups, while difficult, weren’t beyond your reach. Improvement is a great measure of a workout.  Can you lift more today than yesterday? Can you run farther? If you’re trending up, your workouts are successful, regardless of how many calories you’re burning.

How you feel

Following on physical improvement, a jump in your overall energy level and mental clarity is also a great way to gauge how successful your workout regimen is. Ultimately, feeling better is the reason we all work out – feeling healthier, less sedentary, and more attractive. Exercise is better for both the body and mind.

‘Good’ sore

After a challenging workout, one often gets the amazing feelings of relaxation and achievement. And waking up the next day, you may feel a soreness in your muscles – but oddly enough, this soreness is satisfying.  You know you’ve pushed yourself hard, but not too hard, when you achieve a ‘good’ sore.

How you look

You may not be losing any weight during your workout, but your body could be reapportioning itself. Moving fat into muscle is one of the great benefits of exercise – you may notice your clothes fitting better and your body becoming more contoured after a few weeks of a well-executed workouts.

Do you enjoy it?

Ultimately, this is what matters the most in a lifetime of exercise. Do you enjoy the muscle stress during the workout? The relaxation afterwards? The body sculpting that inevitably takes place? The increase in stamina? All of these? Every exerciser needs to find some byproduct of a workout they can enjoy – otherwise, the temptation to be sedentary is too great. A tip: Discover what motivates you and gives you the greatest enjoyment, whether it's the competition of sports or the personal fulfillment of meeting a goal. Remove all barriers to your exercise bliss, then get to it! How do you evaluate a good workout?  Let us know in the comments!