I’ve been in California for 3 months now, and there are a few differences between here and New England that I’ve noticed:
1. People in San Diego fucking hate pro football now that the Chargers are gone
2. People’s inability to handle 5% humidity here is insane
3. The ocean doesn’t feel like an ice bath
4. How much someone sweats seems to be a primary indicator of how effective a training session is
Now 2 of the first 3 are hysterical, one is amazing, but the 4th is something that is a real concern, considering I train people for a living and have their ultimate goals in mind, and how much they sweat wasn’t on my radar as a litmus test for effectiveness. I mean, sweating during hard training is supposed to happen, but if you aren’t pouring sweat out of your Nikes at the end, it doesn’t mean you’re efforts were ineffective either.
The deal is, fat loss is going to come from what you put in your pie hole. That’s why all diets work, to some degree or another-they limit how much food you eat. A little less caloric intake in, a little more out in the way of training, and bang, you’re down a few lbs. This is neither rocket science nor novel.
Lifting weights is for getting strong and building/maintaining muscle. The point of lifting heavy shit is to force our body to adapt to the stress, then we rest, eat good food, and we come back a little bit stronger than we were before that. In order to lift weights that are going to be challenging enough to force our bodies to adapt (IE: get jacked), we need to rest a bit and can’t do crazy hamster wheel circuits all the time trying to sweat our balls off.
Now, that doesn’t mean we sit on our ass for 5 minutes between sets either. There are other things we can and should do with our rest periods-non competing lifts, mobility drills, core work, etc-but it does mean that we need a little rest from the challenging lift, so we can challenge ourselves again on the next set or exercise.
Where the sweat is going to get cranked up a notch, especially in SoCal, is during conditioning, but again, we don’t need to necessarily pin it at 5000 RPMs every day there either. There’s a thing called training economy-you only have so much gas in the tank, and some things you do in the gym will burn that fuel faster than others. This can be looked at by the session, but ultimately, it should be looked at as a whole in a program. This is another post for another day, but it’s an important point-not every training session in an effective program is going to be worthy of an Instagram highlight film. However, it is going to be the next step to getting stronger and leaner, which is what most people are after in the first place. String a bunch of those days into weeks, months, and years, and you have a body that will look and perform like you’re after.
I write this not to disparage those who want to sweat like a pedophile at a playground every time they’re in the gym. There are times when a good sweat is warranted, and times when it just feels fucking fantastic. I’m just finding myself explaining more frequently that it shouldn’t be the GOAL of every training session if results are what you’re after.
Because after all, if you’re going to work hard, pass up the donuts in the office, get your ass out of bed at 5am or drag it to the gym after a long day at work, you deserve something else in return for your efforts than a pair of sweaty undies and #sweatangel on the floor, right?