“I would work out more, but I don’t want to sweat!”
When I first heard a client tell me this, I completely wrote it off as a pitiful excuse to avoid working out. Then, I heard it again… and again, which caused me to think twice about this common excuse. Then, I realized it takes me absolutely no effort to freshen up after a workout. I have very short hair and, as a guy, can change clothes in the parking lot, if need be. Throw on some deodorant, and things are good! But the same surely is not true for everyone. I must admit, men have it a bit easier.
So, I did what every man is supposed to do… Listen! I finally blocked out my own ignorance and was able to draw two major conclusions:
1) sweat in the hair is bad; and
2) working out at lunch is tough because you are sweaty for the rest of the day.
Because I love to lift weights outside, at noon, on the most humid day; I figure that creating the exact opposite setup and pace will solve the problem. Try these few steps to stay fresh and lift weights without sweating.
First, choose an environment that is indoors and air conditioned. Turn down the AC in your home 4 – 5 degrees cooler than you usually would have it. Most gyms keep the temperature low, but ask the manager is the air can be adjusted if the gym is still a bit warm.
Wear loose-fitting, well-ventilated clothes. Make an investment and purchase Under Armour or Nike Apparel. Technology in fabrics have made excellent strides in the last few years in keeping you cool and dry during your workouts. These clothes are more expensive in general, but keep you much cooler and drier than cotton fabrics.
Choose exercises that only involve one joint movement at a time. For example, choose the Side Shoulder Raise instead of the Squat Shoulder Press. Or, choose Glute Kickbacks instead of Squats. When you work more than one muscle at a time, you will burn more energy and radiate more body heat (which is why multi-joint exercises are better for weight loss). Choosing simple exercises will keep your sweat in check.
Move slowly. Take your time with your repetitions. As you may have heard me preach in the exercise videos: “slower movements build muscle better than faster movements, so take your time.” In this case, following good technique can improve the effectiveness of your workout and prevent you from sweating. Take 4 seconds to lift a weight, and 4 seconds to return it to the starting position. Focus on your technique, and please remember to breathe!
Take longer breaks. Allow yourself two or three minutes between sets to prevent yourself from sweating during your workout. Your body heat will rise after a set, but return to lower temperatures soon after. Once you feel cooler, knock out your next set. To avoid wasting too much time between sets, feel free to read, enjoy your music or stretch if you like. If you are at home, fold clothes, watch TV or help your kids with homework.
Drink plenty of cold water. As soon as you swallow cold water, your core body temperature will drop as the water passes through your system. In addition, staying hydrated is important to help you get the most from your workout, plus it keeps your organs and skin healthy. The cooler the better.
Finally, bring a cold towel. Wet a washcloth under cold water and bring it with you. Wipe your face or the back of your neck between sets to keep cool and fresh. If you are working out at home, you can put a wet towel in the freezer ahead of time.
Even better, click here to check out the No Sweat Workout!
Hopefully another obstacle to getting in a good workout is remedied with these tips! If you have any ideas you would like to share, leave a comment below!
Good luck in staying dry and fresh-
About Jacques Courseault, M.D.
Jacques Courseault, M.D. is a resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has eight years experience as a personal trainer, is the Founder/Chief Editor for ExerciseMenu.com and ExerciseDoc.Net, was the Co-Founder of Don’t Weight to Lose (a non-profit New Orleans based weight loss program), and Contributing Writer for DrGourmet.com and Livestrong.com. He is a strong believer that small, practical changes in nutrition and exercise habits can lead to great results….