Training while sick

Working out while sick - Fitness Revolution RowlettIt’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time, you find that you’re in this beautiful rhythm with your training. You’re hitting all your goals, you’re incredibly strong and feel fitter than ever, you’re losing weight and you feel amazing.

Then out of nowhere, you notice that little “tickle” in the back of your throat that’s an indicator of what’s to come if you don’t slow down. You think: “I can’t slow down! I’m kicking too much a$$ to slow down!” so you begin doing every trick that you know to prevent what’s about to happen, you up your vitamins, drink more water, go to the local supp shop to pick up something, then when you wake up the next morning you feel like crap.


Right when you’re getting somewhere in the gym you get sick, what a bad time for this.

Why did you get sick in the first place?

Well, whether you realize it or not you were probably pushing your body so hard and you were seeing some great results but just didn’t notice the usual signs that it may be too much.

When most people get sick or injured in the gym it’s because they were riding that redline of pushing it too hard and not giving their bodies the recovery it needs. I argue a lot of the times that there is no such thing and working too hard and over training, it’s that we under recover.

Majority of the time the reason you got sick was that you were demanding too much from the body and not giving it the time it needs to recover. We all like to think that we are superhuman, we especially feel like it during the peaks performance times, but sometimes even superheroes need a bit of down time.

If you want to keep your performance at a maximum you NEED to let the body recover.

Can I train while I’m sick?

Training while feeling under the weather is a bit two fold in the sense that in some cases it can help you sweat all that nasty out of you but it can also make you feel worse and push your recovery back days for every workout you do.

The rule of thumb I have when it comes to training while sick is the NECK RULE.

Neck and above your generally OK, head colds are examples of this. Anything below the neck (i.e. body aches, stomach issues) just stay home. Your body is going under enough stress that it does not need any more for it to deal with.

One more rule of thumb I have is that if you have a fever stay home. Your body’s temp increases while you’re working out and if you train elevating an already high body temperature then you could induce some major problems.

How to prevent this from happening again

Regardless you’re going to get sick once in a while and its generally going to happen when you are having high stress times in your life; good or bad stress it doesn’t matter. To help minimize the frequency and duration that your laid up in bed is to take time for your body and mind to recover.

Remember that your generally don’t ever over train, just under recover.

Take your multivitamins and fish oil (I still love my krill oil), I’m a big believer in glutamine and BCAA’s. ALWAYS drink LOTS of water and get some sleep. I find it funny that I have to tell tired people that they need to sleep more lol. Here is what I take to help make my sleep more beneficial.

Guys this is really nothing new, your parents have probably told you this a thousand times but if you don’t listen and let your body recover then I can promise it will find a way to make you (cough cough).




In Health and Fitness,

Travis Merritt




Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, CES, RBT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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