I feel that there are two big myths surrounding sweating. The first is that sweat is an indicator of how hard you’ve worked during your training session and the second is that the more you sweat the more calories you burn. It’s one of the many reasons that people tend to believe cardio is more effective for fat-loss compared to strength training. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t do cardio, there are many benefits of including cardio in your training plan (see my blog The Benefits of Cardio for more info).
So why do we sweat then? When we workout our body’s internal temperature rises so sweat is produced in order to cool it down.
The Myths Addressed:
While you do technically lose weight (water weight) from sweating it is only temporary and once you’ve had something to eat or drink the weight returns. In order to achieve permanent weight-loss you should create a caloric deficit through the use of a good nutrition and training program.
Although one of the results of a good training session can be to get a decent sweat on, how much you sweat does not determine how hard you’ve worked. How much you sweat also depends on the individual in questions as different people have different number of sweat glands, meaning that some people naturally just sweat more than others. Your fitness levels may also determine how much you sweat because the more conditioned your body becomes, the more intensity will be required during exercise to raise its core temperate to produce sweat.
The Key Message: Make sure you don’t get too caught up in the need to sweat during a workout.
Just some food for thought