Sore and Sweaty - That Means My Workout Was Good!
Sore and Sweaty - That Means My Workout Was Good!
by Trainer Steve
You want to “feel” your workout, right?
If you’re dripping with sweat from you workout, that means it was good, right?
Let me start by saying that soreness and sweat are NOT indicators of a good training session.
Still there? Ready for some truths? Good.
Most of us still remember our very first workout. It left us sore. So sore we had trouble walking up stairs, sitting to go potty, and unable to lift our arms up to brush our teeth.
We ran our first miles and looked like we got caught in a downpour and couldn’t breathe.
We told ourselves, “Wow, that must have been a great workout!” No Pain - No Gain.
Soreness or pain, is it really good? Does it let you know your workout was effective?
“Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.”
Why are so many “exercisers” willing to ignore pain? Do you like “gaining” injuries???
You love the burn during a set, right? The next time you feel a burning pain while pulling the roasting pan out of the oven, embrace it, hold on tighter… and Feel the burn!
If your legs are so trashed after a workout that you have trouble going up a flight of stairs then you misstep and face plant, what did you accomplish?
There are many types of pain and perceptions of pain.
I was doing an initial assessment of client one day. I asked this client to do 5 squats with arms over head. The client complained of “knee” pain on the second repetition. I said, “show me where it hurts.”, the client rubbed up and down the middle of both thighs.
Unless this clients thigh bones both snapped, this was thigh muscle pain, not “knee” pain, and probably not a bad thing given this client had been “very inactive, for very long.”
There is a story about a gentlemen who reportedly had a pain in his upper back. He saw a sports medicine doc who referred him for physical therapy and massage. That wasn’t working. He visited a colleague of mine who did his screening process which revealed nothing abnormal. He tried some corrective exercise voodoo, and still this man had this pain.
My colleague strongly suggested this man get to his primary care doc. He didn’t know what was going on, but knew something wasn’t right. The man got to his doctor that day. An image was taken that revealed an aortic aneurysm ready to burst. He was rushed to the hospital and his life was saved.
Still think pain is good?
Let’s try this. You sign a waiver/release and we will lock ourselves in a room. I have the sledgehammer… Pain and sweat, guaranteed!
No Pain is NO pain.
As a trainer I try my best to NOT hurt people. At all, in any way. It’s not productive. If you can’t make your next session because you hurt too much, your consistency will not be there. If your program is so difficult that you are in chronic daily pain, you or your body will put an end to it sooner or later. No consistency.
Consistency is how you get results and maintain them. Being able to train all year, every year, is my wish for you. It should be your goal for you, it called a fitness lifestyle.
Perception of pain. Don’t perceive. Get it looked at. Medical imaging is very sophisticated and will tell you exactly what is going on. Better safe than sorry. That cramp might be a blood clot on it’s way to end your life.
You should be particularly concerned with sudden, pinpoint joint pain. STOP what you are doing and get help. If your form or technique are bad that can be fixed, if it still hurts you really need to get the area imaged.
If you are sore during a session or after (DOMS, a.k.a. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) there are some possible explanations.
- You’re not strong enough or mobile enough. Learn to move and follow progressions.
- You did too much too soon. See number 1.
- You did something YOUR body wasn’t ready for. Just because somebody did something, doesn’t mean you should. Yet.
- Your nutrition sucks. Processed food will not take care of your body.
- You’re dehydrated. You are.
A client’s spouse is a devoted x-fitter. I’m told this spouse spends more time in rehab and on the injured list than training. In pro sports if you spend all your time on the injured list, your value goes down… and the trainer gets fired!
Sustainability allows consistency and that is how you get results.
Sweat - Perspiration. Yum. I’ve had more than a few clients who were “sweaters”. No, not the thing you wear to keep warm, but the individual that would be drenched after doing 10 deadbugs. One client needed a mop… Before the warm up was done. There are those clients that don’t seem to sweat, ever! Kettlebell snatch test done, and not a drop anywhere.
Sweat is healthy. In context, sweat is a response to increased temperature of the body. Sweat helps to cool you off during activity by evaporating from your skin.
Emotional stress can make you sweat… “Never let ‘em see you sweat”.
Sweat can be a good thing. Unless you have certain skin issues, like acne.
Survival guy Les Stroud always says, “You sweat you die”. Profuse sweating is a symptom of heat exhaustion, which can lead to death.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A lack of sweat in hot climates and with activity could be a sign of heat stroke, which is the most serious form of heat injury a person can suffer and IS very life threatening. If you train people or train with others (or hike, bike, etc…), keep an eye out, know the signs and symptoms. This can come on quickly and is very life threatening!
Like everything, there is a good and bad side to sweating. Ultimately, sweating means your muscles or your central nervous system got hot. Does that make sitting in a sauna a good workout?
You can’t measure the success or value of one workout. How you feel during or after one session is not indicative of the quality of the session. You may have been having a good or bad day for one reason or another.
Pain and perspiration do not make a training program. If your training lets you come back day after day, week after week, and month after month for years, then you have a sustainable training regimen. This is how you get real and lasting results.
Why you should get your A$$ out of bed!
Morning Exercise is Best! But I Can’t Get Out Of Bed…
by Trainer Steve
There are many benefits to exercising before your day starts. The most important reason is, in my humble opinion, your success.
Getting your day started with some or all of your training is more efficient.
Consider this - It takes less time to burn the same amount of fat IF you get out of bed, don’t eat anything and get your training in versus waiting.
"A study carried out at Kansas State University (Wilcox, Harford & Wedel Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 17:2, 1985), indicates that a kilogram of fat will be oxidized sooner when exercising in the fasted condition in the morning than when doing the same exercise in the afternoon. By measuring respiratory gas exchange, caloric expenditure, and carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism, these researchers showed that the mass of fat burned during aerobic exercise amounts to 67% of the total energy expenditure achieved when the same exercise is done later in the day or in the fed state."