You might not like what I'm about to tell you.
The question I want to help you answer is this.
Does sweating (a lot) = fat loss?
I know (having trained oodles of people over the last 10 yearrs) that many of you equate sweating to fat loss.
I also know you probably love the "feel" of sweating during a tough session.
However - I'm pretty sure you may be barking up the wrong tree.
You see unfortunately "training" over the last 10-15 years (or more) has in many ways turned into a mish mash of false promises and training techniques with no real direction.
When I say no direction, I mean in terms of training outcomes such as fat loss, improving strength, muscular endurance & toning/shaping....
Putting that to one side, the main direction most people are going in is to sweat more during sessions.
You've probably been convinced that HIIT (not really HIIT) sessions turn you into a fat burning furnace.
Maybe you've been told that if you'll burn 1000s of calories in an altitude style training session.
Or perhaps you've been convinced that 20 minutes a day of intervals will be enough to change your body shape, drop body fat and tone up.
Finally - perhaps you were convinced to jump on the insanity band wagon as a means to an end?
(you have my sympathies)
This is not to say that it isn't "fun" to train in a way that makes you sweat more.
However, it probably makes sense if you understand why your body sweats.
It's simply a reaction to you heating up.
Sweating is your bodies way of staying cool.
So, if you sweat a lot during training, it doesn't mean your session was "better" in any way.
It just means you are training different energy systems and also means that you are temporarily losing water weight. Not to mention the minerals.
(and a good reason why you should stay hydrated around your training....)
Once your training is done, you will rehydrate and put the "weight" back on.
Talking about calories for a second.
If you thought by sweating more you'd burn more and so can use this as a way of compensating for a bad day or two of food or drink, the really bad news is that your typical "high intensity" (not really high intensity) or "sweat" session may only add up to about a 1/3 of a big mac in terms of energy used up.
(Also, to put it into another context, when you go away on your summer holidays to the south of Spain and sweat your backside off, do you equate that to fat loss?)
I know, I'm sorry. But there is no escaping the science of fat loss!
So if all those "sweat" sessions aren't the solution to weight loss or fat loss, what is?
Well - here's a simple process we'd recommend to anyone who wants to drop body fat, change their body shape, improve strength and become leaner and more athletic.
This process may not seem very "shiny" but the truth is this is the gold standard approach to achieving great results from your training.
(After all - aren't you training to achieve some kind of result?)
I'd also add that being fecking super consistent over time is something we all need to be better at!
One final thing - I am not in any way shape or form saying there is anything "wrong" with sessions that get you sweating a lot.
If you enjoy that style of training, keep doing it.
If you can't really commit to following the process above or are happy to stay at the same weight, body composition and shape for now, then maybe sessions that make you sweat and feel good are enough for now.
In the end - just keep in mind what you need to do to achieve specific results from your training so that when you are able to focus or commit a bit more, you know what you need to do.
Cool - enjoy the rest of your day/week. :)
David "thermodynamics" Knowles
David Knowles is the owner, lead Coach & trainer, Dad x 5 & wannabe singer songwriter!