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July 08, 2019

FYI, sweat is no gauge for the effectiveness of a workout

Sweating buckets is not synonymous with a 'good' workout

Fitness Sweating
sweating gauge workout Max Winkler/Unsplash

It's not about how much you sweat, but how much you're challenged in a workout.

Sweating is often thought of as the outward sign of a good workout. A sign that you’ve worked hard and, likely, have burned a ton of calories — which is often the goal for people hitting the gym.

But this might actually turn out to be a bit of a misnomer. Many experts believe that sweat is no indication of a “good” workout, defining such a workout as balanced and challenging.

MindBodyGreen spoke to some fitness experts about their thoughts on whether copious amounts of sweat is a sign of a good workout, and if it’s possible to have a great workout without sweating.

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One expert told MindBodyGreen:

"Sweat is in no way an indicator of anything 'effective' with exercise," Lauren Kanski, a NASM-certified personal trainer, told mbg. "People typically don't sweat as much in a strength-training session, and that's just because their heart rate might not get up as high or for extended periods of time, like it does in cardio. That doesn't mean they aren't working hard or being challenged."

Plus, people are genetically predisposed to sweat at different intensities, MindBody notes.

Daily Burn reports that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for a solid workout. It is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that individuals accomplish 150 minutes of moderate intensity — which may not produce the sweatiest results — on a weekly basis. 

Another fitness expert for OpenFit,  Denis Faye, M.S., reminds that heart rate or perceived exertion — how hard a workout feels — are superior indicators of effective workouts.

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