T Nation

Missing Workout Due to Sickness


Is this an OK excuse to miss a day? This is my second day of having what I think is a cold, and the symptoms are an extremely sore throat and lack of energy. I managed to do cardio and lifting yesterday with it but it really wore me out, especially the cardio.

I've been lifting for about 2 1/2 months and have tried to stay dedicated, never missing a day. I'm not asking for permission but more advice - this won't set me back will it?


Well depends.

On the sickness etc. I usually find that if I have a cold or what not or even slight flu Ifeel better after a workout. Sweating it out etc. But yes sometims you are better to stay out and heal first and go in when yopu are able to get a good w/o.

In your case I question if it is not the training that is making you feel the way you do. You say " never miss a day" are you taking any days off. How much training are you doing cardio and weights.

I am of the school of thought that over training is not as wide spread as all the recent hoop la has been spreading. It today seems to have become an excuse to Not work hard it is so over blown, though it is real. You may have simply surpassed your current work capacity by FAR. By starting out way to strong. It will work at fiorst but will quickly wear on you if you try to stay at the same pace. You need to build up your levels. Its a long haul. also check diet rest etc.

In short yes its OK to miss a day if you are sick but I alos thinnk it is bet tio find out WHY you are sick in the first place. With the right diet, training etc. you should rarely ene get a simple cold IMO. I cannto remember the last time I even had a stuffed nose at this point sure some time last years but nothing the sticks.

Hope that helps,


Thanks for your reply.

I should have clarified, what I meant about never missing a day was just the few days I lift weights. Its a 3 day split, Fri Sat Sun. I've been doing cardio about 5 times a week.

I don't think its overtraining since the rest of the house has it, but its good to ask because overtraining can lead to some serious problems.

I also thought I would have immunity to this. To make matters worse I started school last week so I have deal with this for a few more days. My health has greatly improved over the last several months but I guess you can't win every battle.


Generally, if your symptoms are above the neck (e.g. running nose, blocked sinus) then it's ok to work out. If the symptoms are below the neck then you should avoid the gym, as there is a good chance you'll make yourself worse.


Good advice from Augustus, a head cold, runny nose, etc. can actually benefit from a good sweat but stuff that makes your body ache, well you're likely to do more harm than good. It's usually not good to work out if you've got a fever of any sort as well, if you're body is fighting off infection then straining it further with a workout is doing you no good on either front, the infection will last longer and you'll get poor or even negative results from the workout. If it's just the sniffles then go for it.


It is possible that working out while in your condition will set you back. I tried working through illness a few times, only to prolong it. But, there have also been a few times I felt like I'm about to get sick, went to lift anyway, and felt great from it!

The key point, in my expirience, is to realize that your current preparedness is lowered and adjust your workload. In other words, decrease volume and/or intensity of your workout(s). For instance, instead of 10x3 with 70 sec rest, do 6x3 with 2 min rest with the same weight. That way, you'll still have a decent workout (using compound exercises, heavier weights etc.) but at the same time not run yourself in the ground.


I also workout when I have a cold. Just maintainance though. One day off won't hurt you or the program...The body knows what it needs and sometimes it needs rest.


I have worked out a few times while sick and it only made things worse. I would wait until you feel better.


Me too.


Personally I avoid workouts when I have a cold, as it tends to go to the lungs if I don't take it easy. Just going to work slows down my recovery time quite a bit. I missed a ton of workouts lately, but have made suprisingly good progress thanks to EDT, which have consistently been some of the best workouts I've ever had.

1 Month and 1/2 Ago: Started EDT, performed workouts for 2 weeks.

1 Month Ago: Caught a nasty stomach virus, no exercise for 7 days. Not that anal about my diet. I just kept my protein levels up, avoided obvious junkfood, and tried to eat clean.

3 Weeks Ago: Resume workouts. Strength levels up, bodyfat down, biceps, triceps, traps, back appear bigger.

1 Week and 1/2 Ago: Catch a nasty cold, no exercise for 10 days. 4 days ago I notice my pecs look bigger than before. My midsection looks better than ever, but still a ways off. The first 5 days I maintained my usual diet, but then fell off the wagon. Too many complex carbs for no activity, some junkfood. One day I had a piece of chocolate cake, another day wholegrain pancakes with butter in the evening, etc. But, I was good about my protein, fats and veggies.

Today: Finally got back to the gym. My legs/lower back failed sooner than I would have liked, but I still made a decent volume increase. I'm bloated from the last few days of eating, but today my diet was perfect and hopefully I'll be ahead in a week.