We are nearly addicted to the “sweat sesh” (sweat session). A scroll through our Instagram feed instructs us to drop into a studio, boutique, or gym and work up a SWEAT. Our week increasingly fills with visits to our favorite fitness facilities. If we break a serious sweat for 30-60 minutes, we experience a sense of achievement. What’s worse is that we care far less about what we are doing, as long as we are sweating. A 60-min run, hot yoga class, spin class, or strength training workout all leave us with sweat dripping off our nose and consequentially, we group these activities into the broad category of “sweat sesh” and we assume an equal benefit.
I think we can take a more logical approach.
We should look at the workout as a stimulus; a stimulus that creates downstream acute or chronic changes to our physiology. You can sweat with aerobic exercise six times per week, but if you don’t do strength training exercise, you miss out on the distinct benefits of resistance exercise. When someone tells me, “I don’t strength train, I decided to take up yoga” that’s analogous to saying, “I don’t eat food, I just focus on sleep.” Just as nutrition and sleep are not the same thing, yoga and strength training are not the same thing. (not my best analogy, but it works).
Take home message:
When you think about your workouts, don’t ask yourself, “Am I sweating?” Ask yourself, “Am I including the key stimuli designed to change my physiology and improve my health, performance, and appearance?” All workouts are NOT created equal.