Is Heat Holding You Back?

Is Heat Holding You Back? Winter's here in the northern latitudes and, unless you're a skier or a skater, colder weather is going to force most of your training inside. If the manager of your gym likes to crank up the thermostat, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows how temperature can impact exercise performance.

Eleven experienced endurance athletes cycled to exhaustion in 98.6 degree heat and again later in a relatively cool 50 degree environment. They performed two trials under each condition: One at 80% of maximum capacity and another all-out ride as fast as they could pedal. Time to exhaustion was shorter at 100% of capacity, as you'd expect, but the room's temperature played a larger role in exhaustion at lower exercise intensities.

True Strength Moment: Even though heat may have less of an impact on performance when training at high intensities, it's still important to keep pace with hydration. Fluid loss amounting to as little as 2% of your body weight can hold you back from a new personal best. That's true even in cool or cold environments.
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