Ask the Experts: I Sweat a Lot. Am I Out of Shape?

Does sweating a lot mean you're out of shape? STACK answers this common question in this week's edition of "Ask the Experts."

Andy Roddick

Q: I sweat a lot. Does that mean I'm out of shape?

A: Fear not, my soggy friend. The amount you sweat has nothing to do with your fitness level. In fact, athletes generally have more heat-generating muscles than non-athletes, so your body needs to produce more sweat to keep your temperature at a normal 98.6 degrees.

Your body adapts to training and performing in high heat and learns to cool off more efficiently as you progress through a workout plan. This is why you might not sweat as much during week 1 of a program compared to a few weeks later.

Genetics are a key factor. Some people are heavy sweaters, others not so much. Look at tennis great Roger Federer and former tennis great Andy Roddick. They are athletes of similar caliber in the same sport, so it's safe to assume their fitness levels were reasonably similar. Yet Federer can play a five-hour match without hardly breaking a sweat, whereas Roddick was usually drenched before the end of the first set. Neither one is better or worse for it. That's just how their bodies work.


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