Is Your Workout Effective If You Don’t Sweat?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If you’ve been in the weight loss and fitness community long enough, you have probably heard the saying “if you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.”

But is that true, though? People hear this being said in the gym, in everyday life, and online. But ultimately, it’s based on a false premise.

How much you sweat and how challenging your workout is aren’t as closely related as you think they might be.

Let’s take a deep dive into this myth, debunk it, and help you learn why how much you sweat isn’t as important as how much your perceived effort is on every workout.

Sweating is all about temperature control.

Once the temperature of our body goes above 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), our sweat glands are activated. They start releasing a mixture of water, sodium chloride, and other electrolytes. After sweat evaporates, it takes some heat with it and cools you down.

When you’re working out, it’s not just the intensity of your workout that’s related to how much you sweat. The frequency will always vary from person to person. It may even vary from another exercise to the next.

Things like your overall size, the temperature of your environment, the levels of humidity, stress levels, medications, and hormonal fluctuations also play a role in this. The temperature of the environment and the type of exercise you do will be the two largest determining factors in how much you sweat during a workout, not your perceived level of exertion.

However, if you usually can’t sweat during a workout, there are a few things you have to consider just to be safe.

How hydrated are you during your training? Dehydration is the first thing you have to take into account. How much water, coffee, juice, etc. do you drink every day? Some drinks can even leave you extra dehydrated, so make sure you always bring a water bottle to the gym. This way, you’ll make sure that water is in your body when it’s needed.

How intense is your workout? Did you know that the type of workout and specific exercises you do can have an impact on how much you sweat? Or that “not sweating” is a common “problem” in the weightlifting community? Usually, aerobic exercise gets your body temperature in levels where sweating can occur. Weightlifting, on the other hand, will be a type of training that will engage specific core muscles for short bursts of time. This means you’re much less likely to have a sweaty workout if you’re just doing weightlifting. But if you hop on the treadmill after your session with the weights, and you’ll suddenly realize how easy you’ll break up a sweat.

What season is it? Don’t get me wrong, if you’re someone who sweats heavily during workouts, you’re probably going to be that way regardless of what season it is. That being said, some people only sweat during training in the summer, whereas in the winter, when they’re training in a closed gym space, sweating won’t really affect them at all.

You have to realize, if you want to get your body temperature high, doing it with aerobic exercise is a bajillion times easier than it is with lifting heavy weights. Just to take extra precautions, during your next workout, try doing supersets on every last set of every exercise. This is an example of a cardio element being used in strength training, and it works exceptionally well for getting that heart rate up.

Overall, if you’re not sweating during your workouts, drink more water, and make them more aerobically intense. The majority of the time, you’ll start to sweat bullets.