Aside from wanting to learn more about you, and making the workout fun, I keep you talking to gauge your workout level. If my client can’t talk much, they’re in the high-intensity range. If they can carry on a conversation, the intensity is low to moderate.
In a new video by the Mayo Clinic, the medical research center breaks down what "vigorous physical activity" really means. For starters, all workouts are split into three levels. To help determine the level you're at and your overall intensity, they suggest using the age-old "talk test".
The test itself is pretty straightforward and requires no equipment, so you can do this anywhere and at any point in your workout. The idea is that the harder you work, the more breathless you should become, making it more difficult for you to talk. So by monitoring your ability to breathe and speak simultaneously, you can determine whether you're working at a low intensity (level one), a moderate-intensity (level two) or a high intensity (level three).
You can also do this talk test on your own as shown below:
Level One: Break out into song. If you can carry a tune from start to finish, then your workout falls at this level, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Level Two: To test if you’re in that zone, try saying the pledge of allegiance. If you can still say it but you’re breathing hard, you’re working out moderately or at a level two.
Level Three: Talking should be near impossible at this level. If you find yourself unable to utter a few words without taking a breath, the Mayo Clinic says you're working out vigorously or at a level three.