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Do you get out of bed in the morning after a leg day and say to yourself:
• “Ouch, my legs!” or
• “Oh yeah… great squat session yesterday!”
Or perhaps try to use a public toilet and think to yourself
Maybe I can wait… squatting versus sitting isn’t an option right now.
Does all of this soreness mean you had a great workout, or that you worked out harder than yesterday because you weren’t sore the other day?
Do you rate your workout in the “I kicked butt” category?
The feeling of soreness and stiffness you start to notice several hours after working out is called:
DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Well, I hate to burst your beast-mode bubble, but that soreness you are feeling is not an indication of how hard you worked.
Rather, it’s more of
• what exercises you did,
• how long it has been since those muscles have been used, and
• whether you were doing a lengthening (eccentric movement) or not.
Yes, I said it…soreness does not mean you killed it at the gym!
Working your muscles until they are achy and sore means you technically did tax your muscles, which helps them get stronger, but it’s not necessarily beneficial in the long run.
Think about it like this:
Pushing yourself to the max one day just means that you will be too sore to hit the gym the next day, or even the day after that.
This reduces consistency, which is your ultimate goal.
It’s much more important to get in your gym session or workout every day, or every other day, versus just killing it one day and not moving the following 3 or 4 days.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that
• moving more often is better for you
• than going gung-ho for a little bit, and
• then chilling out on the couch trying to recover, and
• moaning about how sore you are.
In a nutshell, feeling sore in the hours or days after the workout is pretty much meaningless in terms of monitoring the success of a training, or how effective or ineffective your workout was, as well as if you are not sore doesn’t mean you failed.
• Stay consistent
• Don’t miss your training sessions, and
• Don’t over-do it!
This will help your muscles grow.
The feeling of “damn, I can’t take the stairs today” won’t!