Sooner or later, a sweat competition was going to happen. Around lunchtime, co-workers often come back from a lunchtime run or spin workout drenched in sweat. In some workplaces, it would be slightly embarrassing, something to hide while you rush to change your clothes. At MapMyFitness, on the other hand, sweaty workers will take their time in the break room, sometimes saunter, even strut. What can you say when you’re looking at person who looks like they just took a shower in their clothes? “Man, you sweat a lot!” The typical response is “yeah, that’s right!” All it took was for two people to say “I bet I sweat more than you,” and it was game on.
While the athletic culture here is diverse, the clear pioneer of sweat-acceptance is our co-founder and VP of innovations, Kevin Callahan. It’s not uncommon for Kevin, or “K-Cal,” to arrive in meetings distinctly damp. While the pages of his reports might occasionally stick together, he is always careful to wipe away any puddles.
When asked about his post-workout look: “We’re a company made up of athletes of all types, and want to use our experience to improve our product as much as possible. Why would I hide try to hide this when we’re working?”
As the sweat competition day approached, Kevin was the clear front runner, and everyone knew it. But, that didn’t mean that they didn’t bring their A-game. Angela Hawkins, our Marketing Manager, intentionally wore black. Chris Ebert, our Accounting Manager, chose to work out later in the day at 104 degrees (typical for Austin in August). According to Angela, that’s cheating.
So, the rules were (1.) the winner would be determined by the rate of sweating for 30 minutes, (2.) the rate would be measured by weight lost as a percentage of body weight. While drinking was allowed (and would be subtracted from your finish weight), relieving yourself was not. Participants were encouraged to “go” before the test began.
And the winner is:
(*) @ 104 degrees, (+) @ 97 degrees
Eight participants took part, with equal numbers of men and women. All but two participants ran just before noon, at about 90 degrees. KE and CE, ran at 2:30 and 4:00, under the hotter conditions of 97 and 104 degrees, respectively. Unsurprisingly, Kevin was the clear winner, losing over 4.2lbs (2.2% of his body weight) or nearly 2 liters of water in just 30 minutes. Considering that the average sweat rate is between 1.2 and 2.5 liters an hour, and the highest recorded for an athletic event* (sustained for over 2 hrs), is 3.7 liters an hour, Kevin’s sweat rate of 4 liters an hour is extraordinary.
Note: Allegations have recently surfaced that Kevin may have relieved himself during the test. A confirmed Performance Enhancing Urination (or PEU) would strip him of his official title.
* Alberto Salazar in the 1984 Olympic Marathon