If I catch a cold or have some sort or minor infection I usually feel I'm not on my top condition, however I'm healthy enough to go work and function normally.

I feel I could also go to gym, but I'm likely to fail some of my sets.

Should I go to the gym at all? If I do, should I lower my working sets or accept the failure when it comes?

2 Answers 2


My coach in college taught me the "below the throat" idea, where if you have any symptoms below your throat, you should hold off from training. Any muscle aches, back pain, lung tightness, rashes, etc. If it's really and only a head cold I'd bring up these two points:

  • Don't infect other people. The people going to that gym will be close to you, using the same gear as you, and don't want to be sick. If you're contagious, stay home.
  • Some colds go on for weeks, so it's a little ridiculous to not train until you are 100%.

I think you might want to shoot for something like 70% of your previous work load. Enough that you're in maintenance mode, but not enough that you're overly taxing your body and causing adaptation. As you feel better, throttle back up to where you were at.

  • great answer, I just wanted to add that when you're having a cold make sure you're doing as much as possible to get your immune system back to full strength (enough sleep etc.) Feb 8, 2015 at 15:11

Avoid going to the gym if you feel more tired than usual or if the infection affects your throat in any way.

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