A Casual Rant on Getting a "Good Sweat" - Nate Chambers

A Casual Rant on Getting a "Good Sweat"

The other day a potential member came into the gym. We'll call him Frank.

Frank was super positive, worked hard, and had a great session in the gym. He was (and still is) someone I would be stoked to have as a full-time member. As we were cooling down I asked him how he enjoyed the class, and he said:

"It was a great sweat."

This is a pet peeve of mine (you'll come to see that I have a number of pet peeves lol).

But hearing that a workout was a "great sweat" bothers me for two main reasons.

1. It means that the quality of the workout is based on perceived effort. Not based on how hard you actually worked, or if it is taking you closer to your short and long term goals.
Now everyone may not understand the difference, but what if you worked out hard the past few days and your body needs a recovery session, not another beat down? 
Or what if you have some mobility issues that are preventing you from moving as well as you should. A workout that makes you sweat a lot could include things that are good for improving your mobility, but it could also be doing things that aren't addressing that at all. 

2. Mainstream fitness classes are playing into this misconception and feeding on lack of awareness, instead of educating.
SoulCycle closes the doors and actually turns on the heat. Bikram Yoga flat-out markets that it's a hot class, and there are so many more that use buzzwords or phrases like "best workout", "nightclub",  and "social" to describe the entire experience.

Adjust your expectations:
If you're looking for a good sweat, that's fine. You should have 1-2 tough high intensity interval sessions each week. But make sure that you're establishing long term goals for yourself, and thinking about training for longevity.

Otherwise your body will start to get beat down, your energy levels will be low, you won't make the progress you'd like (especially losing weight), and you won't know why. 

I work to educate everyone that comes through our doors on the different types of workouts and intensities, how strength training can burn more calories than cardio, but also the importance of recovery and that not every workout is about burning calories.

So Frank and I had this chat and even though he signed up for the gym, I would have felt great knowing that he now knows what to look for in a training program going forward.

I want you to achieve your full potential, and unfortunately a "good sweat" won't get you there. If you have questions about this or would like to hear more, let me know. I'm happy to help.

Nate Chambers
Nate Chambers


Leave a comment