Train till you puke

Does Puking During A Workout Mean You Are Awesome?

“Oh man, I worked out so hard I puked!”

This statement makes its way around the exercise community. It is typically stated by an individual who is proud of their effort given during a great workout. But is vomiting a good thing? No! Vomiting before, during, or after exercise is NOT a good thing. If you throw up during a workout then there are two things happening: one is that you are pushing yourself too hard, and second, you are not in good enough shape to handle the workout you are doing.

Throwing up is sometimes worn as a badge of honor; you work hard, then harder, then you push yourself harder because you are awesome, you start to feel sick but that can’t stop you, and then you throw up.

While many people think that being sick and vomiting is a great gauge of intensity, it is, in fact, a very poor gauge of intensity. Heart rate is a much better gauge. Nausea can occur during a workout. It can be due to your nervous system, fluid balance, electrolyte balance, and also from the food you ate pre-workout. This kind of nausea is normal, but there is a clear difference between exercising to fatigue with some nausea and exercising to decimation and vomiting. Working yourself into a stupor is not necessary to lose weight and make strength gains.

So how far do you have to push yourself in order to see a change? This answer is simple: Harder than you did when you were not achieving your goals. If you were not moving a week ago and this week you started towards your weight loss goal, then you will have to put in more effort than you did last week. But that does not mean you should immediately crush yourself into a vomiting mess of fatigue. Instead, push yourself and challenge yourself, but not with the intent of crushing your body. This type of effort takes time to recover from.

This is a piece of the Goldilocks Principle. This principle illustrates that there is an effective dose and intensity of exercise to make a change. Make it too hot or too cold and you will not like the results. Exercise routines that are too slow and simple will not lead to great results, only frustration. On the other hand exercise routines that are too hot (intense) will lead to fatigue and injury. There is an area that is just right. And that area is NOT in the puking zone.

As a general rule, when trying to lose weight, keep your heart rate between 65% and 85% of your maximum heart rate for the duration of your workout. If you start to feel nauseous then slow down! Again, sickness is not a measure of your intensity. Allow your HR to do so!

Keep crushing those workouts!


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