Working Out In The Heat


Turning up the heat
Turning up the heat.
When I was at school on particularly hot days I can recall hearing a few of the kids saying 'if it reaches 40 (104°F) we all get to go home'. Either they were just making it up, the teachers loved the heat, or the temperature never got that high. (Interestingly, my father remembers people saying the same thing whilst he was at school. Same result.)

What do you do workout-wise when it gets this hot? The short answer is: don't. If you're drowning in sweat from simply sitting in front of the TV, imagine what you'll be like after a few sets of squats.

Your options, then are simple:

  1. reschedule things a bit and work out in the cool of the evening or morning
  2. alter your workout environment

Work out in the evening

Usually this is the option I take (although the high temperatures lately have remained throughout the night), and the biphasic sleeping makes it all the more easy.

If you're lucky enough to receive a cool breeze in the evening, make the most of it and take the workout outdoors. Kettlebell, sandbag and sledgehammer training is all great. One thing to note - avoid those PRs. It's going to be hard enough anyway.

Alter your environment

There are several ways to do this, and most of them assume you have control over the room (such as in a home gym). If you don't, there are still a couple of things to keep in mind.


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Either way

Regardless of the approach taken, there are a couple of further considerations :

Warning signs

Listen to your body. If you start experiencing the effects of the heat, stop. Go and do something else.

Early signs include :

Of course, these are all things you may experience during workouts on good days. Use your judgement. In my case, if the ambient temperature is greater than body temperature (which it has been on a few occasions this week - and yes, it's only October) I skip the workout. Or at least postpone it a few hours until things cool down.

References

1. Understanding Heart Rate
Stephen Seiler


Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 34) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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