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Training While Sick?

Just curious what I should do during days when I’m sick (cold/flu type). Sometimes I still train, sometimes I just rest with no training. I’ve found training at the onset of the disease will make the disease symptoms way worse so I don’t train until I’m over the worse of it and I’m in the disease recovery phase. The question is, is it better to train but drag out the disease recovery, or is it better to just rest and recover faster?

What do you do?

rest and recover faster. quality training over quantity.

depends how i feel. feverish - usually stay home. not too feverish / weak and nose isn’t running too badly…


but be a lot gentle with myself with respect to my performance.

feels to me like i sweat things out in a good way (like eating lots of chili when i have a cold). increase in symptoms, sure, but i think those symptoms are what the body uses as a defense against sickness (trying to flush the system out) so you recover faster.

sleep great afterwards.

i also drink a lot of water when i’m at the gym but probably tend to run a bit dehydrated otherwise. so the fluids probably help me feel better. but also increase the flushing things out symptoms.

i do feel a bit guilty when i ring in sick for work and hit the gym, though…

just feeling generally run down (as opposed to fighting off a cold / flu specifically) is sometimes an indicator that it is deload time. i try and listen to that. hard to know what is best, sometimes.

maybe i’m wrong… but i’m starting to think that when i really don’t feel like training… then i shouldn’t train. that doesn’t happen very often. so when it does happen it is time to listen.

Always depends on how bad you’re actually feeling. Sometimes it’s better just to skip it for the day. Other suggestions:

  • Go for a walk rather than lift. This allows the body to return the parasympathetic dominance and will aid in recovery.
  • Deload. It gives you enough of a stimulus for growth (believe it or not) and will also help you recover.
  • Man up and lift and potentially get even more sick.

It’s very tough to recover and grow when you’re body is already in a depressed state. Make sure you utilize recovery methods when feeling under the weather to promote restoration.

Hope this helps,
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