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Sweating Doesn’t = BETTER!

 

 


Ever feel like you’re totally crushing your workout but then see the person next to you covered in sweat while you barely have a glisten? Perhaps you’re new to exercising and get through your workout without a bead of sweat.

What’s that about!?

You are not working hard enough?

Is your workout worthless?

Lucky for you, the answer is NO, not necessarily!

It’s a common misconception the more you sweat, the better your workout and results! However, sweating is not the best tool for gauging intensity or effectiveness of a workout. In today’s blog, you’re learning all about sweating: why it is not the deciding factor of a good or bad workout as well as what does make -or- break a workout! Here’s what’s on deck:

  • Why do you sweat?

  • Relationship between exercise and sweat.

  • 8 Signs of a highly effective workout!


WHY DO YOU SWEAT?

There are many myths surrounding sweating:

“It releases toxins from your body.”

“The more you sweat, the more calories you burn!”

“It’s THE indicator of the very BEST workout!”

Hate to break it to you but, these are all false! Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling down and happens not only when exercising, but during others forms of activity as well as inactivity. Naturally, some of us just sweat more than others – it’s just how the body work. So why do you sweat? Let’s get into it!

#1. Temperature Regulation: Sweating’s primary purpose is to regulate your body’s internal temperature.  As your body temperature increases, so does your sweat production and that temperature increase is the result of many, different factors.

As you sweat, water on your skin forms then evaporates to cool the skin and lower your body temperature.  As you’ve experienced, you don’t just sweat when exercising. For example, you sweat more when it’s hot outside, when wearing layers of clothes, when pushing your kids/grandkid’s stroller, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, loading/unloading groceries, sitting by the pool, sitting in a sauna…you see where this is going!

Botton line: sweating happens outside of exercise/ the gym as your body’s natural way of cooling down and exactly why it is NOT a good indicator of an effective workout.

#2. Immunity Booster: Our skin acts as a barrier to infection from a plethora of bacteria, viruses and fungi.  It is important to keep that barrier clean. Sweating helps boost immunity by fighting off infection since the peptides in sweat can act as an antibiotic on the skin.  This means sweating can help the body fight off certain germs in order to keep the skin healthy!

#3. Skin Cleanser: Sweat can also keep your skin looking fresh!  As you exercise and sweat, your pores open allowing sweat to flow more easily to “flush out” debris.  Another benefit of sweating? It can increase circulation! Blood vessels will dilate, making it easier for blood to flow throughout the entire body, including your face, leaving you with that post workout glow.  Lastly, since your skin is being indirectly moisturized from water in your sweat, this can help reduce or delay fine lines and wrinkles over time!

Wow – who knew sweating had so many benefits?!

Having just learned the science behind sweating, you now understand why there is more to it than “I am drenched in sweat – this was THE BEST workout ever!”

Botton line: if you are working hard when exercising but aren’t sweating as much as those around you – don’t ‘sweat’ it!


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXERCISE + SWEAT

As coaches, we hear this all the time: “I love feeling super tired and sweaty when I leave the gym, otherwise, I don’t feel like I accomplished much.”

If you’re looking to maximize your results and health, it’s important you understand the relationship between exercise and sweat.

At Results Fitness, you can choose from two different types of workouts: Small Group Personal Training (strength-based workouts) and Interval Classes (cardio-based workouts).

If you are a current RF Warrior, below is a breakdown of the two and how each relate to “sweating”. If you are not an RF Warrior, this breakdown outlines the difference between why you may sweat more during cardio based workouts compared strength-based workouts.

Strength and cardio based workouts are both challenging, but designed with different benefits and goals:

  • Strength Based Workouts: Our Small Group Personal Training sessions focus on strength-based exercises. In these sessions, you are using heavy weights (heavy = relative to your fitness level) and need more rest in between sets so your body can recover and perform each subsequent set with equal effort.

It is NOT safe nor effective to lift heavy weights at a fast pace with little to no rest in between. Strength training is designed to be “slower” compared to cardio exercises because you need/want to put tension on your muscles and maintain the same level of intensity and output throughout each exercise.

While you may not be jumping around / moving constantly, strength training is VERY labor intensive and taxing on your muscles.  When it comes to goals/results, these workouts are most effective for building “tone” and definition, building / increasing lean muscle, decreasing body fat, moving better, alleviating chronic pain, and fitting in clothes better. Make no mistake about it – you will definitely still SWEAT during strength workouts!

  • Cardio Based Workouts: Our Interval Classes are a HIIT style workout designed to be faster paced and elevate your heart rate.  These workouts are most effective when it comes to improving your cardiovascular endurance in your heart, lungs and muscles!

Unlike strength-based workouts, cardio workouts focus on lighter weights, higher reps and minimal rest. This is why you do NOT go heavy because your body doesn’t have enough time to recover. This type of workout is most effective for improving cardiovascular health, if a high energy, big group setting is your jam and yes, you want to SWEAT more.

If you notice you sweat MORE in RF Classes or cardio workouts in general compared to Small Group / strength workouts, it makes sense!  In Classes, your rest breaks are shorter, you are constantly moving, and workouts are designed to elevate your heart rate via high impact exercises (jumps, burpees, boxes, etc).  Elevating your heart rate for longer periods of time with fewer and shorter rest breaks has everything to do with sweating but nothing to do with a “better workout.”

Small Group and strength-based programs are not designed to go all out in short, intense bursts of work followed by minimal rest. First of all, you’d get hurt!  The goal of Small Group is NOT to lift the heaviest weight as fast as you can.  The goal is lifting the weights that are heaviest / most challenging for your individual skill level so that you improve total muscle strength and range of motion over time.

Secondly, to continue lifting those heavy weights throughout your workout, your muscles require longer rest breaks to recover compared to cardio. This break allows your body time to cool off, therefore reducing sweat. Remember, strength-based workouts are super taxing on your muscles and though you may or may not sweat as much, you should and will feel winded when lifting heavy ass weights relative to your fitness level.

So if both cardio and strength-based workouts make you a healthier, sweatier version of yourself, what are the telltale signs of a highly effective workout? Depending on your personal goals, here are 8 signs of a highly effective workout:


8 SIGNS OF A HIGHLY EFFECITVE WORKOUT

If sweating isn’t the make or break of the best possible workout, what is?

Keep reading for the 8 telltale signs of the most highly effective workout! Let these be the deciding factors when gauging if you’re on track for the results you want!

#1. Increasing Weight Load

You are new to strength training/exercising so you start using a 10-pound dumbbell for bicep curls. For the next two months, you are strength training consistently 3x/week and eventually move up to 12.5 pounds, then to 15 pounds! In just two months, you’ve increased the strength in your bicep curls by 50%! Some of those sessions you may have sweat a lot while others, not as much but you still made quantitative improvements in strength. This is a much better way to track progress versus level of sweat.

#2. Increasing Repetition Range

Envision you are taking your very first RF Interval Class. On day one, you perform 10 squats in 45 seconds. On day 30, 15 squats, and by day 60, 30 squats, all within that same 45 second time frame! This shows you are improving in every single class by increasing your capacity / workload. The more work you are able to do, the more calories you will burn!

#3. Program Design

Not all workout programs are created equal. Going through a workout filled with random exercises put together willy-nilly that just make you tired and sweaty is NOT the same as a thoughtfully curated workout program that’s structured and designed to get actual results: improve basic movement patterns, workload, overall strength, etc.

Example: you could do 100 burpees and pushups and be exhausted, super sweaty and sore as heck. Was that an effective workout program though? Not so much.  All RF workouts are thoughtfully designed with purpose and intention by Coach Josh and scientifically proven for moving better, building strength/muscle, enhancing range of motion, balance and flexibility, and alleviating aches and pains.

#4.  Movement Quality

It may not be the sweatiest you’ll ever get, but improving your form, technique and having control/body awareness when exercising is crucial for getting the very best workout and results!  If you’re dedicating the time and energy to exercising, don’t you want to maximize your results?!

Understanding and practicing proper form and technique maximizes results and keeps you injury free. Once your body moves in the correct way, you get more out of each exercise! For example, over time you increase range of motion and can squat down lower to pick up your weights at the gym as well as the kids/grandkids without pulling your back! Or, over time, you build strength around your knees and can do lunges at the gym as well as use stairs / walk your dog without being in pain.

#5. Workload

Let’s say when you first started exercising, you could only do 2 sets of exercises and felt too tired to do more. Overtime, you improve and are able to complete 3 sets! This means you are doing more work in the same amount of time = MORE strength, endurance and power!

#6. Mind-Muscle Connection

A mind-muscle connection means having proper muscle groups working/firing when performing each exercise.  For example, when squatting down, you should feel the muscle in your glutes (butt) working and not the low back.  It sounds silly but being mindful and paying attention to where you should be feeling each exercise increases the connection that muscle has to your brain so you have better control and get the most out of that exercise.

#7. Better Mood

When exercising, many different “feel good” chemicals are released: endorphins to make you happy and epinephrine to get you excited and ready for the workout! Exercising leads to a sense of accomplishment, improves your mood, boosts your confidence and keeps you mentally sharp and focused!

#8. Decreasing Resting Heart Rate + Blood Pressure

At Results Fitness, we like to look at the big picture and long-term goals when thinking about our program design and workouts.

Great gauges to track long-term progress is resting heart rate and blood pressure. After months of consistent exercise (think 6+), you become healthier, and your muscles get stronger. When this happens, you will notice a decrease in your resting heart rate because your heart muscles are stronger and don’t have to work as hard to pump oxygenated blood throughout your body. Your blood pressure should also decrease overtime to a more normal level.

This goes hand-in-hand with heart rate. If your body has to pump less blood, there will be less pressure on your arteries as that blood flows. That is what causes a decrease in blood pressure and again, a highly effective and more quantitative way to track progress compared to sweat!


As you can see, there are a lot of different factors that go into short and long-term progression when it comes to exercising. Whether you are an RF Warrior or exercising on your own, remember that sweat is NOT the determining factor of a good workout. Some people sweat more than others and that is OK! Continue showing up, putting in work and tracking how you are improving over time – both in and outside the gym.

If you need help getting started, want someone to do the thinking for you and design the best, effective workout for YOU and to get the very best results, book your free intro session with our team today to learn how we can work together!


 

 

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