Workout of the Day

The Sweat Fallacy


Do you make the mistake of judging the quality of your training by how much sweat you produce or how many calories you burn?

I can tell you, unequivocally, that this is a mistaken way of approaching your fitness.

For one, this is not unlike driving your car with the intent of guzzling as much fuel and producing as much exhaust as possible. Seems silly, right? This inclination towards burning and sweating also lends itself to a dead-end approach to training. You will, for example, always produce more sweat and burn more calories from spending 30 minutes spinning away at a moderate intensity on the elliptical machine than you will performing 400m sprint repeats, or heavy sets of back squats. While context is required to judge one workout as better or worse than another, we know that sprint repeats or heavy squats will provide a greater stimulus than moderate effort elliptical sessions.

Even more significantly, training that prioritizes sweat and calories over all else will pigeonhole your training to the point of stagnation. This training invariably leaves massive holes in one’s fitness. And while it may feel more productive to spin away for 30 minutes and walk away sweaty, I can tell you that your physiology responds better to training that focuses on elements like strength, stamina, coordination, or flexibility, not arbitrary metrics like sweat and burnt fuel. And if you’ve ever wondered why every bootcamp, kickboxing, or spin class advertises sweat as its highest-value currency, it’s because sweat is easy access. Any trainer with 30 minutes and a microphone can leave you panting and covered in sweat. The same cannot be said of improving fitness and function.

Interrogate your intentions. Are you exercising to feed the dead-end cycle of burning fuel for the sake of burning fuel? Or are you looking to become better?

- PS


  • 2 rounds for time:

    • 25 power snatch (95/65)

    • 20 burpees over bar

    • 400m run

  • *15min time cap


  • 3 min AMRAP

    • Bent over single-arm KB row (AHAP)

  • 3 min AMRAP

    • Single arm KB RDL (AHAP)