Exercising in the heat

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    • #99951
      Virgil Kane

        Lunch is the best time for me to workout, because the phone isn’t ringing. I work at home. I go out and ruck with weight, run without weight and do sandbag exercises pushups, situps, etc… The problem is that it’s usually 90 degrees and 50% humidity.

        (Assuming heat exhaustion isn’t an issue)
        I can’t perform as well at 90d compared to 75d, but I also can’t perform as well with 30# on my back compared with no weight, but the added stress is what improves the system.

        Is there added benefit from the stress of exercising in the heat?

      • #99952

          Is there added benefit from the stress of exercising in the heat?

          There is no benefit per se, but your body acclimates, somewhat, to it. Heat Acclimatization

          I know it sucks, but to truly avoid the heat, working out pre-dawn (or as early as possible) is the best time, from a weather perspective.

          I’ve been experimenting with electrolyte replacement. During intense activity, I find my performance starts lagging after roughly 20-30 minutes. Low sugar/no sugar sports drinks have not worked as well as “high test” Gatorade or Powerade, both the gold standards for me (caveat, sample size = 1). Coconut water is a close second and is easier on the stomach. The carbohydrates in them are quickly absorbed and used to fuel your body while working hard. Propel was marginally better than water, not worth it for refueling during intense exercise.

          During classes, I’ve switched from pure water all day, to 50/50 gatorade water. The problem with dehydration is, it can sometimes make you “stupid”, which in turn makes it harder to realize you’re “not right”. I distinctly remember making a total bonehead error on a peel into a “swing the door” into a bound back. It was a hot day and I didn’t realize until after someone fainted and I had the chance to down a gatorade, that I was in fact dehydrated. During classes, I’ve switched from pure water all day, to 50/50 gatorade water. I’ll start drinking the 50/50 mix mid morning or lunch time at the latest, and into the afternoon. Depending on conditions, mid afternoon I might move to unadulterated regular Gatorade/Powerade. It’s made a difference in my energy level and ability to just keep going.

          Pre-workout is becoming a more common thing- it’s basically caffeine with some other stuff in it. While caffeine is a known performance enhancer, it will very likely wreck you in long high intensity workouts. Reserve it for short duration testing days (max lifts, benchmark workouts, etc).

        • #99953

            Regarding hydration, I highly recommend Skratch Labs products. I’ve used their products extensively during cycling, running, and multisport events, as well as training, and nothing else seems to keep me going as effectively.

            Hydration Mixes

            Also, pickle juice really does work for cramps.

            19D20 Cavalry Scout 3d ACR Desert Shield/Storm
            Mountain Biker

          • #99954
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)

              JohnnyMac’s Heat Acclimatization link doesn’t work for me.

              There are many methods out there, though I’ve worked in pretty much every available environment I am no expert on the sports/medical studies.

              High intensity work outs in the peak extremes isn’t the best idea, but you do need to actually do something in your areas extremes to be prepared for when real world events require it.

              Too many spend so much time in temperature controlled environment that they become worthless in real conditions.

              Learning to see the negative signs in yourself and others is important for success.

              This also allows you to take appropriate actions to mitigate heat risks beforehand.

              Be careful and understand some people adapt better than others.

              I am getting ready to go outside and do some yard work and it’s already 90°F with 76% humidity at 1130L. ;-)

            • #99955

                With our Land Surveying company I work outside/inside pretty much 50/50, so I stay pretty acclimated, not saying it doesn’t wear me down though. I usually get my workouts done in the evening after work, which in south Texas means it’s still pretty hot up till at least 8pm. I use gatorade occasionally, but have found that Nuun tabs work better for me. I can dissolve them in a glass or bottle of water and get the electrolytes I need without the sugar. I’ve used them at the Texas class in Brady the last two years. The first year I tried them, I wasn’t using them enough, and woke up during the night with severe leg cramps in my thighs. This year I tried drinking one about mid-morning, one at lunch and usually one about mid-afternoon, and I didn’t have any leg cramps at all this year. They even have some nuun tabs that are an energy drink with caffeine coming from a tea extract. Tried them once, not too bad, didn’t feel jittery but did feel energized and powered through a workout.

              • #99956

                  I work and do cult group exercise (crossfit) in the heat. This time of year usually 90 – 100 and central texas humidity. I mix Electrolyte Fuel supplement from First Endurance with water when doing high intensity activity in the heat. Hydration is also an important factor as most of us don’t drink sufficient amounts of water throughout the day. I generally drink 160 – 200 oz per day. Its an important part of physical training to learn your capabilities in different temperatures, so that you can work within your personal limitations without becoming a liability to your buddies.

                • #99957

                    Hard to say how much water is needed as so many factors are in play; Such as heat, humidity, underlying medical conditions, medications, etc.

                    One method (NOT the method) is monitoring urine output and color. The Marines (of the 80-90s) had color charts at each urinal. Clear – good. Light yellow – drink 1 canteen. Moderate yellow – drink 2 canteens. Dark yellow- drink 3 canteens and see the corpsman.

                    One question I always ask is when was the last time you drank/peed??

                    Caveat – diuretics (meds) or alcohol will make someone pee more and can be confused with adequate urine output.

                  • #99958

                      One of the things we did in the FD (80-90s) was to exercise in a cooler time (morning or evening). Then we used wet and dry saunas to acclimate to temperature.

                      I don’t know if this information/use is still in use.

                    • #99959

                        From doing run-n-guns for 17 years, I can say that running in the early morning at 70deg and doing the event at 2pm at 100 deg doesn’t work worth a shit. For the past few years, I have been doing ALL of my PT in the afternoons, between around 3pm and 5pm – the hottest part of the day.

                        I’m not going to say it makes me faster, stronger, etc, but I WILL say that it makes me measurably more functional if called on to perform hard physical work when it’s hot.

                        Something I have noticed using a heart rate monitor is that your heart rate at a 3-4mph walk at 100deg will probably be at least as high as it is at a 6mph jog at 70deg. At 90 deg temps, your heart has to work pretty hard circulating blood to the surface of your skin for cooling. For that matter, your heart rate sitting in the shade sipping tea will be measurably higher at 90 deg than it will be at 70deg… The hotter, the higher.

                        MVT Texas 2015-2020
                        Team Cowbell / Team Coyote / Team Rekkr

                      • #99960

                          Working hard in high heat requires some prep and thought to head off dehydration and heat stroke. When on a structure fire, I typically will preload on 12oz water and an electrolyte tablet before working in high heat. This helps keep dehydration from setting in. And depending on how much fluid you lose, replace it. As far as body heat, your body can only handle hi body temp for short periods of time. 15-20 min and you need to get cooled off. Get your head cooled off along with your neck (carotid artery) and your thighs (femoral artery). Pour cold water on these areas. Find shade and a breeze if possible.

                          HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                          HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                          FOF X3
                          OPFOR X2
                          CLC X2

                        • #99961

                            Staying acclimated is important. Can’t tell you how many “gym bunnies” I’ve seen out in the field that would wilt in the heat cause they were used to a gym cooled to a winter’ish 72 degrees.

                            We keep the air off at jitz except for a couple months in the summer where the student’s beotching gets super crazy if we don’t run it at least some. You get used to it. Added benefit is you are usually down a few lbs. just from the sweat after class LOL. There is nothing like getting 20 bodies in a small room fighting to increase the heat and humidity in a room.

                          • #99962

                              Adding to what all the others have said:
                              In the context of prolonged, strenuous activity for something like a GORUCK event my experience has been that trying to drink anything other than water in large quantity will upset your stomach and actually dehydrate you further. You can’t really absorb the nutrients besides plain water as efficiently. What I would do during those events is carry Pedialyte powder sticks and mix it in ~0.7L and chug it on a ~30min halt, maximum 3 times over the course of 24 hours.

                              IMO training in the heat is more of a mental exercise and therefore generates a physiological benefit. From a scientific perspective of actually creating measurable improvement in your body in some way that is more beneficial than working in cooler temps, that’s tough to argue.

                              TL;DR Maintain Discipline, drink water, add electrolytes.

                            • #99963

                                Me (51yrs) and my 13 year old son yesterday did 2 miles in 100degF temp, about 30% humidity, 5mph wind… We busted our butts to get 13min30sec for the first mile and 12min45sec for the second mile. Neither one of us would have been able to keep that pace for longer than that. I didn’t have a heart rate monitor on, but experience has taught me that 13-14min/mile at 100deg is roughly equivalent to 9-10min/mile at 70deg.

                                All that being said, there is NO WAY to train your body for heat tolerance other than training in the heat. And when doing so, pay attention to your heart rate, and not your minutes/mile.

                                MVT Texas 2015-2020
                                Team Cowbell / Team Coyote / Team Rekkr

                              • #99964

                                  I’ve been off the forum mostly for the week. AirCon went out in the house since Friday and in this heat wave it has been hideous, mainly due to the humidity. We got it fixed today and the house is now 79 degrees and falling – the main impact is that as the aircon cuts the humidity, it feels a lot better even at 79. People forget about the humidity, and over the last week the temps have been up at 100 degrees, which is unusual for VA, and mainly it is the accompanying humidity that kills.

                                  People forget about that in any grid – down or disaster scenario. It goes to my points about gear . It’s all very well to sweat for a bit the get back into the aircon, but it would be a whole lot different with no reprieve. We have been sleeping in the basement and it is only the wind of fans blowing that makes it half bearable.

                                  Anyway, between that and doing a lot of work up at the VTC in current temperatures over the last few weeks, it has forced me to focus on hydration.

                                  One thing I have stumbled upon is the sachets that are available. It also keep you away from soda. Hydrating more is something we all should be focusing on, and I am bad at it on a normal day – I just don’t like water unless I am actually exercising. I now have a stash of sachets up at the VTC and at home, You can get the simple Hawaiian Punch sugar free. You just throw the powder into your water bottle, preferable with a bit of ice, and it makes it tasty. It has been working for me. We have some Propel stuff that is electrolytes. I’ve been trying a little Miosport bottle of squeeze liquid that flavors and has electrolytes and vitamins.

                                  Sure, you can be a tough guy, or a chick, and just drink water all day, but it’s not my bag baby. I can now have a thermal cup with a straw with me and keep supping up that water throughout the day.

                                • #99965

                                    there is a new product out that was developed for the military to rehydrate faster. As it turns out it works amazing for wildland and structure firefighters. It has less sugar and more electrolytes than Gatorade and can be mixed in water. I love it…


                                  • #99966

                                      My recommendation is find a supplement with HydroMax or GlycerPump Glycerol, (Glycerol is known as an osmolyte, which is a molecule that attracts a lot of water and can hydrate your cells very effectively. This is known as a state of hyperhydration) EAA, and sodium.

                                      Its been a hot one this week so I hope everyone is keeping cool.

                                    • #99967

                                        Back in the day scythers working in the fields all day needed hydration too. Their form of Gatoraid was a concoction called switchell. They new water alone couldn’t keep them properly hydrated. The women would prepare it and bring it out in mugs to the men in the field. There are many recipes for it. Here is a quick one:
                                        1- 5” piece of fresh ginger
                                        1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
                                        3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
                                        1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
                                        4 cups of water or sparkling water for you hoity toity types

                                        Juice the ginger and combine everything.
                                        You can change ratios for taste.
                                        I believe there are other recipes out there, a quick google search would probably bring many others. You could also throw in about anything else you might like in there. Like berries or oranges, whatever.

                                      • #99968

                                          Morning all
                                          Didn’t have to run in the heat yesterday, instead we had rain what a blessing. Done six miles with half of load(15lbs of gear) out one hour eight minutes 11.30 per mile. not bad for 53. Getting ready for the RnG next month in N.GA.

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