T Nation

Working Out While Sick?

Shortly after changing over from Madcow 5x5 to “The Juggernaut Method” I came down with a case of swine flu, got severely dehydrated, and lost 30 lbs in 2 weeks. Now I’m over the flu but the doctor says my cough is from Acute Bronchitis. I don’t have any pain, just a loud, obnoxious cough that hangs around a bit whenever I get heated up.

Can I work out or would I just be hurting more than helping? Anyone have experience with working out while sick? I really, really miss my weights.

30 lbs!!! Damn, I had swine flu for a week back in '09 and I think I lost like 10 lbs. I’m not a doctor and I wonder why you didn’t get his opinion about working out right now.

Anyway, here goes, Acute Bronchitis is usually just a temporary inflammation in the lungs. Personally, I would still lift and just avoid cardio, if you do any, until the bronchitis cleared up. If nothing else go do some minimal work if you don’t feel quite up to it, like just your main lift of the day.

That’s my $.02.

Good luck.

So the rule of thumb with working out while sick is that you can maintain the status quo but don’t add stress. What this means is that if you are currently lifting and catch the flu/cold you can continue to lift since that stressor is already part of your daily routine.

Of course this is a rule for common colds and standard flu’s so I don’t know what to tell you. If I lost 30 pounds on the swine flu and had acute bronchitis I would try fasting to help the body fight off the invaders. (that might just be me though)

And, you can always walk and add extra walking miles without adding quantifiable stress to your system.

Just to echo the above, if you feel like you can train, then train, just take it a bit easier.

I wanted to add that you need to drastically increase your fluids for a week or so. A lot of that 30 pounds was water.

The doctor told me not to train until the cough died down a bit since it could compromise my safety while lifting to have a coughing fit. So I was going to wait the recommended week, but since I felt good and last night was a class where I go to the university’s rec center, I decided on a whim to get started.

I wasn’t 100%, and missed 1 rep, but I felt so fucking good to be back I wasn’t too bothered. I’ve regained 5lbs too. I know I need to lose a lot of weight, but not like I did.