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Do You Have to Sweat to Have a Good Workout?

Do you have to sweat to have a good workout? This idea that you have to work up a huge sweat in order to get a good workout is a common misconception. I hear many of my peers in the gym express this sentiment every day. They believe that a strenuous HIIT workout in a hot gym is beneficial for weight loss and getting a better workout. In other words, the more you sweat, the better.

First of all, working out in a hot gym is not healthy. The International Fitness Association recommends that the gym be kept between 65-68 degrees for aerobics, cardio, Pilates and weight training. What is equally important is the humidity levels in the gym which should be kept at 40 to 60 percent.

Sweating due to hot temperatures in the gym and high humidity levels is not healthy for your body and reduces the effectiveness of your workout up to 50%.
Sweating is not a sign of a successful workout!

When the temperature in the gym is 80 degrees or higher and you are sweating profusely, your body has to work extra hard to cool itself down. When the temperature is too high and you are sweating too much, you can suffer from heat exhaustion which can be dangerous. In fact, when the temperature in the gym is 80 or above, the effectiveness of the workout drops by as much as 50%.

Another interesting fact is that people think the sweating makes them lose more weight. Some people notice that their weight can be 1-1.5 pounds lower after a workout in a hot gym. This temporary “weight loss” is due to dehydration, and the moment they drink water, the weight goes back up. They did not lose fat, just water. Due to the fact that the heat prevents them from working out to their full potential, they don’t burn as much fat or build as much muscle as they would have in a cooler environment. This means they are benefitting less from these workouts when the room is too warm.

The truth is, you do not have to sweat in a hot gym to have a great and effective workout. In fact, sweat is not an indicator of anything effective! The most important thing to have a good workout is to challenge yourself and keep your heart rate in your correct target zone during the workout. Every body is different and some people sweat easily and some do not. It does not matter.

The amount of sweat depends on your genetics, your hydration levels and the temperature/humidity conditions inside the gym. Do you have to sweat to have a good workout? The answer is unequivocally is NO! It is much healthier to workout at the recommended temperature and humidity levels set by the professional International Fitness Association. Cooler temperatures and less sweating can make your workouts much more effective for fat burning and muscle building.