T Nation

Illness - What to do?

Alright, my girlfriend came down with a horrible sore throat last week, and now I’m going through it. My question is, if you’re in the middle of a structured, progressive program and get sick, what do you do once you recover? Do you pick up where you left off or start over? For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re out sick for a week.

When I got sick in the middle of meltdown, I took some EC and went ahead to it. Once you get sweating you won’t even know you’re sick. Just keep it up and don’t be a pussy! A sore throat isn’t a good enough reason to stop your exercise! Come on, you can do better.

Well, more than a sore throat is entailed. Many other flu-like symptoms. I’ve also found that illnesses go away quicker if I take the time to rest through them. Plus, I don’t see where working out while your body is fighting an infection could lead to many gains.

Depends on what caused the sore throat. If it was snoring or a minor cold, listen to the previous guy. If it’s strep throat or something serious, don’t listen to the previous guy.

Actually, I think I’m breaking out of it, so the point is moot for now, but I was just wondering what most people here did to get back from a short-term illness (1-2 weeks).

If it it is a minor small throat or the sniffles, keep training. If it is something where you have no energy and feel useless, IMO it is better to let your body heal itself. Going to the gym when you’re sick could lead to an injury due to lack of concentration, poor form etc. My 2 cents.

Up your vitamin C intake, if you’re already taking some. I increase to about 500 mgs an hour when I feel a cold coming on. And I skip on training heavy, and just rep it out. I find sweating it out is a good thing (so I also wear heavier workout clothing). If that doesn’t work, I rest.

I just got over a flu or something that kicked my ass. I tried to work through it, stubborn as I am. It didn't help, I got worse and took a week and a half off from ANY training. I didn't go back into weight training, but boxing instead. And eased back into the weights - felt 110% better that week! I say, take the time off, repair the bod (sometimes a cold is a way for the body to signify it's time for some rest). The gym ain't goin' anywhere, and ease back into your training so as to avoid that cold from coming back to haunt you.

Keep your eyes peeled for an article on this in the near future.

Keep your VitC up in advance of the illness. There was a study out a few months ago that compared a group that became ill and took vitamin C (1g, I believe) versus a group that became ill and did not. It showed that there was no statistically significant difference in recovery times from the cold while taking it (actually, the group that didn’t take it recovered a little faster, but nothing significant).