With fitness trackers, running watches and numerous other bits of fit tech flooding the market, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how exactly to know you’ve smashed a good workout.
So when you’re ten minutes into your body pump class and already sweating buckets, you take it as a sure-fire sign that your workout was difficult enough.
But if you think those sweat patches are a sign you’ve worked hard enough to throw in the towel, you should think again, says Kim Ingleby, PT and founder of Energised Performance.
‘People sweat at different rates,’ she says. ‘It’s down to many factors, including clothing, air temperature, humidity, hormones and fitness level.’
So if you’re dressed head to toe in polyester, in a gym sans air conditioning, it’s likely you’ll be, er, damper than most. Instead of counting sweat beads, Ingleby suggests measuring effort by the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion, where
you assess how your body feels (muscle fatigue, breathing rate, etc) on a scale from very light to extremely hard.
BEST EXERCISE FOR BURNING CALORIES?
It’s also important to remember that the different kind of fat in our body responds differently to various workouts.
Sweat may not be the best indicator of exertion but the best exercise for burning calories will still certainly make you sweat.
Recent studies in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness have found one workout is particularly effective for getting rid of visceral fat—aka the unhealthy bit you don’t want around your tummy. Intrigued? Try HIIT training over steady-state cardio if you’re looking to lose fat. Why? The short intensity of HIIT workouts mean you’re more likely to push yourself to the absolute max and blast calories.
So no, sweaty workouts don’t necessarily equate to a good workout. But combine measuring your sweat levels with your heart rate, breathing rate and muscle exertion and you’ve got a pretty good general indicator.
Sweating but still able to run and hold comfortable conversation? You’re most likely giving fat burn a miss. So fatigued you can’t possibly do another rep? Then you’re probably in the fat burn zone. with how hard you can feel your muscles working and your breath
Working out? Try these ab exercises for women or read about the benefits of pilates.