Training during and after minor illness?

Discussion in 'Other' started by Smile-n-Nod, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Strong Member of the Forum

    I'm finally starting to feel better after a long weekend of sinus/cold/allergy symptoms. While I was sick, I walked a few times (about 3 miles) and did sets of 10 kettlebell presses with each arm using a moderate weight, but no other training.

    What are your recommendations for training (in general, not just with kettlebells) when a moderate illness is coming on? What about training during the recovery period?

  2. Chrisdavisjr

    Chrisdavisjr Helping Make Others Stronger

    From my personal experience, it will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and whether you're experiencing the beginning of an illness or if you're in recovery.

    Whenever I've trained at the beginning of an illness, it's worn me down and made me feel weak. Training during recovery, provided I'm feeling up to it, will often make me feel better, although the benefits are usually psychological rather than physiological.

    Sometimes 'toughing it out' is just what you need to get you through the day (especially if the main symptom of your illness is feeling sorry for yourself) but I've learned the hard way that sometimes you're just going to have to give your body the rest it needs and skip training for a few days.

    If you're not sure, start off light and if you start to feel better go for a moderate session but make sure you don't overdo it.

    If after a few light exercises you feel weak and drained, put the kettlebell down, get some rest, boil up some lemon and ginger tea and give your immune system a chance to do its thing before you try again.
  3. Antti

    Antti Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    I wouldn't train while ill. When recovering I would start very light and increase the load as my well being improved. It's impossible to say it more specifically, it's just something to do intuitively. If uncertain, it's better to train too light than too heavy.
  4. mprevost

    mprevost Helping Make Others Stronger

    Most people will just tell you to take some time off and then ease back into it. Probably good advice. Research has shown that there is a window of immune suppression following hard/intense exercise sessions. The greater the volume and intensity, the greater the immune suppression. Illustrated below:
    However, those who train, in general, have healthier more robust immune systems if they are recovering well. Those who are training with very high volume or intensity may have a bit of a suppressed immune system. Illustrated below:
    Some general recommendations that are used:

  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Smile-n-Nod, I have a simple rule for myself - when I'm not sure if I should exercise, I ask myself if I'd like to take a nap. If the answer is yes, I take a nap and I don't exercise.

    In other words, you must learn to figure this out for yourself. I'll venture to say that on a program like S&S, where you practice daily and work on owning each weight, it's worth trying the book's guideline of taking an easy day instead of an off day when you're feeling less than 100% - but the nap rule supersedes this one. :)

  6. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    I am with @Steve Freides with this. I try to do the warm up. If I do not feel it, I stop here.

    Kind regards,


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