Personally, my gym is SUPER cold. There’s basically no heating in there, and I’m always freezing. That led me to think, do bodybuilders get cold easily? Or do I get warmer?
Well, turns out- bodybuilders actually are much warmer than people that don’t work out! Turns out all that muscle and fat we build actually keeps us way warmer. The only exception is bodybuilders that are close to competition and are at a super low body fat percentage.
Let’s cover this a bit more in-depth.
What Influences Temperature Perception?
Well, there are a lot of things that can influence how you perceive temperature, let’s talk about some of them.
- Gender: The way our body works is different between men and women. The insulation layer of fat is thinner on men. Women on the other hand, have less muscle mass than man, so women tend to feel colder than men in most cases, even with more insulation.
- Hormones and stimulating drugs: Our body is regulated by hormones and that’s no secret, but our body temperature and the way we perceive it can be affected by hormones too.
Apart from hormones, there are some substances you can ingest that change the perception of temperature. In the gym context, these substances are called thermogenics. The most common thermogenics are caffeine and green tea, these will make you feel warmer and sweat a lot.
- Muscle mass: Muscle needs energy to contract, and the byproduct of that contraction is heat, so the more muscle you have, the more heat you will generate, that’s why skinnier people tend to feel cold more easily
- Body fat percentage: The amount of body fat you have in your body will drastically change your perception of hot or cold. On our body, fat serves as an insulator to keep us warm and protected. People really low on body fat will feel colder than people with higher body fat percentages, in some extreme cases, people with 4-5% body fat will say that they are always cold no matter the temperature.
How Bodybuilder’s Muscle and Fat Affect Their Perception
When talking about bodybuilders, we have to consider some things, but let’s clarify the initial question. No, bodybuilders don’t get colder easily, especially because they usually have more muscle than people who don’t lift, causing them to generate more heat.
On top of that, they usually have more body fat than normal people, that way they can gain more mass and progress weights easier.
(Most bodybuilders are above 10% body fat, the more muscle you have hides a lot of the fat you have)
What CAN happen to bodybuilders is that, when they go on a cut, and significantly lower their body fat percentage, they can feel cold due to low insulation on the body.
What Your Body Feels Like In Low Body Fat
Humans evolved to store energy as fat inside our bodies for a reason, our bodies need it to function properly. If you have ever been on really low body fat you know how it feels and the effects it has on our body, but let’s talk about some of them.
- Low energy all the time: fat is nothing more than stored energy, and when you don’t have enough stored energy, your body will feel tired all the time, your workout intensity will drop heavily and your strength won’t be the same as when you had higher body fat percentages.
- Always cold: Fat serves as isolation, so when you don’t have a lot of fat in your body, you will feel cold easier.
- Muscle recovery is difficult: When you have low body fat, your body will drop in glycogen levels, the glycogen that would be used to recover your muscles after a workout will now be used to keep you alive, prioritizing basic needs.
- Always hungry: Our body regulates itself, and when you low on stored energy, your body will start producing hormones and sending signals that will strike your hunger, basically forcing you to go after some calories and energy.
- You get sick easier: Your immune system will be suppressed if you don’t have enough energy to function properly, this way, you’ll get sick easier and your recovery will be even slower.
- Low testosterone levels: Studies have shown that leaning down to lower body fat percentages will negatively affect your testosterone levels, causing them to drop down to approximately ⅓ of what it was before, affecting your sleep, sex drive, energy levels, mood and a lot of other things.
So, to answer the initial question, no, bodybuilders don’t get cold easily, they have more muscle that generates heat and keeps them warm, on the other hand, people with low body fat levels do.
If your body fat levels are really low, you’ll feel colder because you don’t have proper isolation to protect your body.
Maintaining a decent body fat percentage is really important to keep you healthy and energized. That’s why people go on bulking seasons when they want to increase strength, recover better from their workouts and progress their weights faster, increasing hypertrophy levels and maintaining their immune system in check.
When cutting, bodybuilders will feel the downsides of leaning down to lower body fat percentages, like low energy, low testosterone levels, you’ll feel colder, you’ll be always hungry, and get sick easier.
After all, being shredded is not as easy as it looks, and there are many downsides to it, so it’s important to do your research and take a look at the pros and cons before you start your “cut”.
If you decide to go on a cut, try to eat all your macros and keep yourself rested so you don’t take a hit on your health.