Does sweating mean your out of shape?

I had a client recently ask me whether or not the amount of sweat she produced during a workout indicated whether or not she was in good shape. I told her the same thing I will tell all of you: Sweat is NOT a good indication of your level of fitness, nor is it a good indication of the intensity of your workout. Everyone has different thermoregulatory capabilities. One person can be on the elliptical for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity and barely work up a sweat while another person can be on the same type of machine doing the same intensity and break out into a sweat only 3 minutes into the workout.

Check out this article I recieved via email today from my monthly American Council on Exercise news letter:


Q: I sweat profusely (literally dripping wet) during my aerobic workout. Is this an indication that I’m out of shape?

A: The reason for profuse sweating is that body core temperature becomes significantly elevated by the increase in metabolic heat production during exercise.


In response to an elevated body core temperature, the brain signals the body to dissipate the excess heat as rapidly as possible. Eccrine sweat glands are then activated, and fluid is transported to the skin so that it can evaporate and create a cooling effect.


Rather than indicating a lack of conditioning, sweat dripping off the body may be more indicative of the fact that the humidity of the environment is so high that sweat can’t evaporate. All factors considered, this is not an ideal situation, because it may mean that the body is not being effectively cooled via evaporation.


On the other hand, profuse sweating can also be a sign of being relatively fit, since one of the adaptations to consistent exercise training is that individuals will sweat more and sweat sooner so that their bodies don’t store extra heat.


Source: Bryant, Cedric X. 101 Frequently Asked Questions about “Health & Fitness” and “Nutrition & Weight Control”. Sagamore Publishing, 1999.


2 Responses to Does sweating mean your out of shape?

  1. mattmahowald says:

    This is a question I get from my clients as well, and I tell them a better indication is whether or not they have more energy and feel stronger after beginning a workout routine. Unfortunately, so many people are in the dark, when it comes to fitness and nutrition, which means education is so key. With the guidance of professionals and some basic common sense, you can improve the quality of your life and reach your peak performance. And by the way, don’t think sweating means you should cut down on your liquid intake, because water is the lifeblood of the body and vital to maintaining your energy level while workingout.

  2. Mike says:

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: