Ask the Trainer

Apr 26, 2012 in Fitness & Physical Activity | 0 comments

This week, I received the following question, and decided to answer it on my blog, since it is a common one:

Question re: sweating. Hot topic, i know.

I’ve been working out (cardio and free weights) 4-5 days (1 hour) per week now for about 6 months and I have stopped sweating during most of my cardio workouts ( running, stepper, bike, row). Does this mean that my workout has become too easy? Obviously it is a sign of my increased fitness level, however, can effectivity of a workout be measured by how much one sweats? It doesn’t really feel like much of a workout anymore without sweat… and I feel less satisfied.
-Colette

Answer:
Well, this question is somewhat divided. We sweat in order to cool our bodies down, when they become too heated. And yes, becoming heated is often a sign of how hard we are working. BUT, that said, it is realistic for us to be sweating more in a warmer environment, so one possibility is if the environment in which you train has better air conditioning! You should, of course, become warm, and even somewhat hot during your workout (this is why those brave folks can train outdoors in the dead of winter). But, it does not mean that you are burning fewer calories or getting less work done.

If you trained with a friend who were at the same fitness level as you, and were to do the exact same workout, it is possible one could be sweating much more than the other. Perhaps one eats more than the other, and the body is at a higher temperature for its work with digestion. Or, perhaps one has sweat glands that are very conditioned. It does not mean that one is getting a better workout than the other, necessarily.

If you are still displeased with the amount that you sweat, not able to wear your dampened clothes as a badge of honour, try to change up your workout. It sounds as if you are training very thoroughly and have a good variety of cardiovascular activity – but try condensing your workout, for instance, into a 45 minute period versus an hour, to start. Add some sprints of high intensity intervals, move quickly from one strength move to the other, and add exercises like burpees, mountain climbers and jump rope to keep the heart rate challenged during your strength circuits.

Some days I sweat more than others, and that’s just the way it is. It can depend on diet, sleep, and frankly… have you tried exercising on a Saturday morning after a couple Friday cocktails?

Colette, if you are really whooping your butt, reaching muscle fatigue and giving the heart a great workout… don’t sweat it. ;)
Many factors can affect our body’s cooldown method. Just work hard, and wear a tighter body and a healthier heart as a badge of honour, in the sopping clothes’ stead.

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