Good Things Come to Those Who Sweat
It’s simple… when you workout, it should be tough, you should sweat, grunt, yell, and, upon completion, feel a sense of deep accomplishment. I can speak to you from experience here. There have been a few times that I have had these deep down, touch-your-soul workouts that have left me twitching and paralyzed in a pool of my own sweat. During the course of those grueling 30 minutes, I experience emotion from joy to frustration, love to hate and everything in between. Anyone who has ever spent any time here knows that it takes true grit.
Now there are plenty of people who will tell you otherwise, that training is simple and it doesn’t have to make you sweat. Remember the 6 pack ab belt that sent electrical stimulation to your muscles and gave you the 6 pack you have always wanted? All you had to do was sit on the couch, watch T.V., drink a beer, eat some potato chips and, as long as you were hooked into your electric stimulus 6 pack belt, you were all set to get your 6 pack. Well, hate to tell you, getting a ripped 6 pack doesn’t work like that. Nor does any other special pill or machine that makes a similar claim. There are hundreds of these gimmicks on the market that range from workouts to supplements. The truth is this is gonna hurt a little bit at first, but then you’ll fall in love with it.
Here is the science behind adaptation. This is what actually drives the body to change.
You have to move fast enough, lift heavy enough weight or just put forth an effort that actually forces an increase in body temp. Thus, eliciting a simple response called perspiration. If you are not yet there, then it may help to try to reframe your expectations and understand that this is a requirement to stimulate the body to lose weight or increase performance.
This intense effort that causes you to sweat, in turn, will trigger a hormonal response that actually drives change. Part of that hormonal response is an increase in endorphins, the feel good hormone. These connect to the frontal lobe of the brain, the reward center, and start to connect feeling good and a sense of accomplishment and reward with your hard work. Remember though, this hormone is only released when you work hard enough to sweat.
I want to take this last point to clarify that the direct link is between intensity and calories burned, not sweat and calories burned. You will sweat with high intensity training, but doing a heated yoga class will make you sweat as well, even though the intensity might not be as high. In a study done by the university of Colorado, they found that high intensity training intervals caused people to, on average, sweat just as much as a heated yoga session, but the amount of calories burned with the high intensity training was double that of the yoga class. See… intensity = sweat = more calories burned.
The science of why we have to sweat when we workout is simple and it tells the real story of how we actually make change in our bodies. It doesn’t happen unless you are willing to sweat. But once you are willing, it’s addictive and life changing!