Today I answer common questions I get all the time about sweating too much during exercise, or if sweating = fat loss. If you have been wondering if sweating is good for you or wanted to know why we start sweating during exercise then read on.
Is sweating too much during exercise a big deal? Is excessive sweating during exercise going to hurt me in some way?
Sweating too much during exercise? Sweating helps keep your body cool. Excessive sweating during exercise is more common in fitter individuals because the harder you train the higher the probability that you are going to sweat excessively and excessive sweating is just your body becoming better at cooling itself down. A person in-shape has a body that is better prepared to cool itself so that it is able to continue exercising – this is a good thing. Also, although excessive sweating during exercise doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad, make sure you stay HYDRATED!!!! It is easy to become dehydrated, and that is NEVER good.
If I sweat am I losing Weight? Does sweating = fat loss? I mean does sweating while exercising mean I am losing weight?
If you think going into the sauna or steam room is going to cause you to lose fat then you are dead wrong. Sweating does NOT equal fat loss. Sweating while exercising does NOT mean your losing fat, it simply means you are losing the water stored up in the sweat glands or water weight. As soon as you drink some fluids that weight is going to come right back. The fact that you are exercising means you are burning calories and if you burn more calories then you consume then you ARE losing meaningful weight. You must be in a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Is sweating good for you? Why is sweating good for you? Is it bad that I am not sweating when exercising?
Sweating is perfectly fine, there is nothing wrong with sweating! It is the bodies way of keeping cool, make sure you drink enough water! Adequate water intake is KEY for good performance. I drink minimum a 1/2 ounce of water per lb I weigh on my BUSIEST days. I pretty much always drink at least a gallon of water a day, even though my body could definitely use more at times!
Now, is it bad that you are not sweating when exercising? Are you in good shape? Are you hydrated? Are you getting your electrolytes? How fatigued were you before you started the workout?
These are all questions you need to honestly answer to figure out if its bad that you are not sweating when exercising.
Is sweating during exercise a good indicator of workout intensity.
Sweating should not be used as any indicator of exercise intensity whatsoever.
I would say the biggest indication of the amount of effort one puts into their workouts is intensity (% of maximum: the higher the percentage = the higher the intensity). The higher the intensity, the larger the effect on the CNS. I have always said with strength, muscle follows, so I would say your whole goal would be to try and lift progressively heavier for more reps with structured training that takes into account your CNS. If we were applying this to the aspect of say, speed training, then hill sprints are less intensive then running on flat ground (considering your moving at less then MAXIMUM speed), just as running a 100m dash is much more intensive then doing starts. That being said; I believe intensity is the most important indicator of how much effort one puts into their workouts.
Now onto the aspect of sweating: No. I could stand outside of my house and start sweating.
It would seem logical to most people that this would be the most important indicator across the board, but it is far too subjective in nature, and there are far too many variables, therefore it can’t be used as an indicator. For instance, during a team sport event, an all out burst, or sprint is much more intensive in nature, then steady jogging, say, during a soccer game, although the jogging may have caused the athlete to sweat more.
Consider, if you wear a sweatshirt when you workout, your going to sweat more than if you didn’t, but sweating itself does not burn any calories.
Also, when I am benching 385, I generally do not start sweating too much, yet me benching 385 for 3 reps is much more intensive in nature then going out back and doing insanely difficult high rep fairly long duration circuit training till it looks like I have been rained on.
Bottom Line: Sweating is not an indicator of exercise intensity.