Training when sick: Yay or Nay?

Anybody who has trained for a fair but of time will have had this situation come up at some point. You’re feeling a little under the weather and you’re not sure whether you should give training a miss or if you’re just looking for an excuse not to train. When this comes up, I like to use a rating system to determine whether I’m well enough to train.

Now, I’m not a doctor and don’t use this to self diagnose. This is just a method that I’ve used successfully for a long time and I’ve recommended to others. But remember, if you are genuinely ill, your body is trying to recover from said illness and placing unnecessary stress on it from gym work is probably not the best idea.

This method is based on a rating system of 1 to 10. With 1 being completely healthy and 10 being at deaths door. It’s not an exact science but once you’ve used this method for a while and figured out where you fit into this scale it can be quite useful. Now let’s get into how it works…

If you’re contemplating training but you rate yourself as a 7 or above then you shouldn’t be going anywhere near a gym. You’re in the throes of being ill and training can be very dangerous to yourself as well as others, if you’re contagious.

If you rate yourself as a 5-6, doing some light work may be alright. That can be things like a light walk, stretching or doing some easy-ish rehab/rehab work. A light sweat is ok but anything beyond that is too intense and may just prolong your recovery.

If you feel like you’re a 3-4, it’s a little bit more “play it by ear.” My suggestion for this is to not have a plan when you go into the gym. Do your warm up and see hoe your body feels. If you begin to feel rough, keep the session light and head home. If you’re feeling good then you can probably up the intensity but don’t go balls-to-the-wall just yet.

If you feel like you’re below a 3, then you can probably just suck it up and get the work done.

Like I said, this isn’t an exact science and it can take some time and a few attempts to figure out where you fit into the scale. Also, if you’re unsure, rather be a little conservative in rating how sick you are.

Tagged , , , , ,