T Nation

Training After Being Sick


#1

I'd like some advice for something strange that I experienced today.

I got sick four days ago -- not with a cold, but some odd virus (mild fever, few other symptoms). So, I ceased training. By Monday (yesterday), I was 'better'. Instead of jumping straight into lifting again, I gave myself an extra day. Today, Tuesday, I joined my lifting partner for squats.

Everything seemed fine for the first few sets. But, by set 4:

  • My heart rate shot up
  • I felt very dizzy and light-headed
  • I saw spots

So, I called the squat session (after 2 more stubborn sets). I then focused on easier isolation movements for the rest of the session and felt 'fine' as my heart rate settled.

Is there anyone here with a similar experience, or medical knowledge pertaining to the incident? It was just very weird, and I'd like to understand it better.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Its called “getting sick”. It happens. When I get a fever, I don’t eat much. Takes a few days to get the groove back.


#3

Hmm, thanks JFG. I was just weirded out by the dizziness/shortness of breath because I could have sworn I’d recovered.


#4

Whilst you had gotten over the worst of the symptoms, you weren’t fully recovered. Just train easy for a week or so.
Natty trainers need to be extra careful, as training hard all the time can negatively effect your immune system. You can pick up colds, viruses very easily, and get relapses if you return too soon to your regular training.


#5
  1. Wait for your symptoms to go away (the gym isn’t your personal equipment and others don’t want your illness)
  2. Do a deload the week back (your body has been stressed, you just need to get your touch back)
  3. Come back to 5 rep sets, ramp up slowly and judge where you are by bar speed
  4. Get back into full swing

#6

What others have said.

I think some form of plan for future so you can autoregulate your training might be a good idea. It’s very easy to work too hard or too easy once illness/stress gets involved. Having a plan that’s set up away from the emotion of the moment can be a fantastic idea.

For me, I do 5/3/1 so on days where I’m really struggling I will cut my plus sets to required reps only and not go for a rep PR. If I’m really feeling shitty, I’ll also limit or reduce assistance work.


#7

That sounds pretty normal. You weren’t fully recovered and found out the hard way.

Learn from the experience and next time it happens go easy your first couple of sessions back to feel your way back in.


#8

Thanks for the input, everyone! Much appreciated. I’ll be sure to keep all of this in mind when I’m next recovering from illness.

This is somewhat related to training and sickness, so I figured I’d throw this into the discussion – keen to hear thoughts:

I know that there are people who never miss a session. Unless they literally cannot walk, they’ll train through colds, flu, diarrhea, etc. I’ve seen some of this ‘never skip’ crew on these boards, over time. I’m not knocking them, but I want to know – how is this not a terrible idea?

In my own experience, training whilst ill (or when getting ill) has almost always prolonged the illness. Thus, I haven’t done it in two years. Far more importantly, though, there’s the issue of viral myocarditis… Apparently training with an infection of the upper respiratory tract can increase chances of viral myocarditis? Does anyone with more information have input?


#9

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:
Thanks for the input, everyone! Much appreciated. I’ll be sure to keep all of this in mind when I’m next recovering from illness.

This is somewhat related to training and sickness, so I figured I’d throw this into the discussion – keen to hear thoughts:

I know that there are people who never miss a session. Unless they literally cannot walk, they’ll train through colds, flu, diarrhea, etc. I’ve seen some of this ‘never skip’ crew on these boards, over time. I’m not knocking them, but I want to know – how is this not a terrible idea?
In my own experience, training whilst ill (or when getting ill) has almost always prolonged the illness. Thus, I haven’t done it in two years. Far more importantly, though, there’s the issue of viral myocarditis… Apparently training with an infection of the upper respiratory tract can increase chances of viral myocarditis? Does anyone with more information have input?

[/quote]

training when you’re really sick is a bad idea, but we’ve all done it.

My personal rule is if I’m too sick to eat properly then I’m too sick to train.

The viral myocarditis thing is a real thing, but I’ve been around gyms a long time and have never known it to happen to anyone. That’s not to say you should be concerned, just that - meh, you’ll probably be fine.


#10

[quote]Yogi wrote:

My personal rule is if I’m too sick to eat properly then I’m too sick to train.

The viral myocarditis thing is a real thing, but I’ve been around gyms a long time and have never known it to happen to anyone. That’s not to say you should be concerned, just that - meh, you’ll probably be fine.[/quote]

Fair enough.

As for the viral myocarditis… We’re talking about dropping dead, somewhat arbitrarily. That’s fucking terrifying. It isn’t something that keeps me up at night, but certainly something I’d always want to take precautions against, considering the momentous cost.


#11

There’s a great article on the EFS site called ‘How Should You Train When You’re Sick? Should You At All?’.

I think it’s pretty spot on.

In a nutshell:

Green light (train at full capacity): all sickness above throat - cold, sinus, etc. Can get worse, to yellow light.

Yellow light (train, but drop the intensity to prevent getting worse): in the throat as well as head. If you push full intensity high risk of going to red light.

Red light (no training): beyond head and throat. Training now is going to have bad consequences.

I’d say the full article is definitely worth a read.


#12

Will find and read that article, thanks! ^


#13

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:

I know that there are people who never miss a session. Unless they literally cannot walk, they’ll train through colds, flu, diarrhea, etc. I’ve seen some of this ‘never skip’ crew on these boards, over time. I’m not knocking them, but I want to know – how is this not a terrible idea? [/quote]

On the other hand I never get sick, pretty sure it’s linked to never skipping training. Hope I havent jinxed myself.