I asked a trainer: If I don't sweat, was my workout hard enough?
You curled, squatted, and burpee-d your way through a full-body workout. But after an hour of nonstop fitness your sweat levels are… low. What gives? Did you totally phone it in during your exercise sesh? Because it doesn’t count unless you really break a sweat, right?
*Insert buzzer noise here* Wrong! But you’re not the only one concerned — celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (who has trained the likes of J.Lo, Khloe Kardashian, and Kate Beckinsale) says he gets this question all the time.
His response to clients? “Um, did I just imagine all those cardio intervals where you were huffing and puffing?”
“Sure, [sweat is] an indicator, but it’s not the only indicator,” Peterson told Women’s Health. For starters, what’s the temperature in the room? Because, yeah, if you’re working out in a 30-degree studio, you’ll likely sweat more than an air-conditioned gym. Also, are you hydrating enough? Because the less water you drink, the less you’ll likely sweat. “You know how hard you’re working,” says Peterson, so don’t let that be the standard of a successful workout.
READ MORE: Why Do I Sweat So Much?
Instead, he recommends considering a few other factors. “I love to work in all the planes of motion: sagittal (forward and back), frontal (side to side), transverse (rotation)?” says Peterson. “Did you move in all of those ways? Because in life you move in all those directions, so if you train accordingly, you’re less likely to get injured.”
It also really depends on your goals. Were you working your entire body? How does your whole body feel after your workout? Did you focus on arms? How do your arms feel? Tired? Worked? Good.
So even if you’re not sweating buckets, you still did the work. “Ultimately, give yourself credit for everything you do,” says Peterson, “and stop beating yourself up for everything you didn’t do.”
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