Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Working Out in the Heat

If you’ve ever worked out in a hot gym – indoors or out – you know that your workouts are different when it’s hot. You rest more often, get tired more easily and sweat a lot. You also know that it can kill your working intensity and, by extension, your muscle growth.

So what can you do? Researchers have the answer.

To overcome the effects of heat on your thermoregulation – your core body temperature – you can take specific measures: heat acclimation and nutritional intervention.

Regarding heat acclimation, researchers recommend working your way “into” the heat – not working with your usual intensity and volume, but starting with lighter weights, more sets at a higher volume and increasing your intra-workout rest times. By gradually building intensity into your workout as it progresses, you prevent early workout performance breakdown.

The most effective nutritional intervention is, as always, fluid replacement – and fluid drinks containing few calories and moderate amounts of glucose and sodium are best.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: When you’re working in the heat – indoors or out – you have to adapt. Don’t just jump in and train like normal because you’ll get tired in a hurry. Instead, work your way into the heat, listening to your body as you continue to work. And, drink plenty of fluids to offset your fluid loss from sweating. Make sure your drink is light and contains not just glucose but also sodium – a key electrolyte. Nothing will help take away the effects of heat altogether, but these two protocols will ensure you get the best bang for your buck!

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Wendt, et al. Thermoregulation during exercise in the heat. Sports Med. 2007;37(8):669-682.

No comments: