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  • Brian Rainey

Should I Start with High Intensity Training?

Is it better to start or re-start a fitness routine with high intensity training or low intensity training?

The quality/quantity debate is like the Tortoise and the Hare comparison.

Truthfully, you will need both if you want to make fitness a consistent activity in your life.

If you are just starting out with fitness or re-starting a fitness activity it is better to start with the lower intensity exercise like walking.


There are many factors but there are two that play an important part:

1. Your brain rewards you the same for both a High Intensity Activity and for a Lower Intensity Activity. So, you will get a healthy dose of dopamine for both activities.

2. Your body will afterwards respond vary differently though. During the post exercise phase that can last 24-48 hours, your body will go through the repairing process of getting itself back to a normal state. This process in the higher intensity activity will require repair of any tissues that were broken down during the activity. This is when you become very sore and your range and mobility will be shortened due to the repairing process of the body.

This is an especially important process to understand, when deciding which form of exercise to start with as a beginner.

There is no doubt higher intensity exercise has more “bang for the buck” when it comes to benefits associated to this style of training. But when it comes to your risk and reward evaluation of which form is better for beginners; there is no question--Lower Intensity is the right starting point because the risk of injury or just quitting is much greater in the High Intensity Category.

It is much better to think about this in the context to the “crawl, walk, jog, run and sprint principle”.

Start with an activity that fits your current fitness level and then repeat that activity over and over gain and only focus on incremental improvements like working out for a little longer each time. This will reward the brain with a nice dopamine hit every time without the risk of injury.

Once, you have conquered the lower intensity style of exercise, then, you can add some more intensity to the activity. Use the same approach of incrementally improving by increasing your effort for the activity and soon enough you will be at a high intensity level without taking the risk of injury or quitting because the activity was to much for your current level.

Yes, it is wise to move your effort towards High Intensity Training but do this by incrementally improving activity slowly overtime. This will prepare your body for the higher intensity, so the bones, muscles and ligaments are ready for the higher level of force on the body.

If you need direction on where to start or what intensity level, please email Brian Rainey at YPB Transformation.

Brian is the Author of this post and is a career fitness professional with 25 years of helping people with selecting fitness equipment, fitness coaching, fitness training and much more. You can email Brian at for help with your fitness journey.

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