The Good, The Bad, and The Sore

The Good, The Bad, and The Sore

A Guide to After Workout Soreness

 By Healthy Magazine

A good workout means you’ll feel it the day after, right?

Yes and no. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) does mean that you taxed your muscles. And whether we like it or not, it is the only way to get significantly stronger. There is, however, a fine line between productiveand counter-productive soreness.

Feeling so sore that you can’t get to gym the next day or the day after is not the kind of sore you want to be. Instead, shoot for an exertion level that allows you to “go hard” again the next day. And when you think about it, it makes sense. Moving more often or getting to the gym 3-5 days a week will be better than being really gung-ho for one day a week.

Consistency is key to any good workout regimen. We’re all familiar with those gym-goers who hit the gym really hard for a couple weeks and then begin to fade (we’ve all probably been this person once or twice). They get frustrated with a lack of results, but any devoted gym-goer knows that consistency spells results.

So, now you may be asking, “how do I know when I’m overdoing it?” Well, this is good question. Working out is an inherently goal-based activity. We’re striving for something, trying to get healthier, stronger, fitter, etc. Thus, when we work out, we should be pushing ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we have to overdo it just to see results. Something as simple as (pull quote) feeling more tired halfway through your second set than you did after your first is a good indication that you’ve fatigued the muscles you’re exercising.(End pull) Do any more than this and you’ll be hurting the next day.

Remember that a good warm up and cool down can greatly influence your soreness levels post-workout. Ignoring these steps will bring unnecessary pain.

Ultimately, good sore and bad sore depends on where you’re standing. If you’re trying to build muscle and make big gains in strength, than soreness is what you’re shooting for. If you’re aiming to slim down and tone your muscles, soreness might not be what you’re hoping for the next day. You’ve also got to listen to your body. Make a mental note of how many sets, what weight, etc., you do and how you feel the next day. If you’re really sore, use a lighter weight or do fewer reps. Don’t forget that workouts should build over time, however, so no soreness after the gym probably means you aren’t going hard enough.

Finding the right mixture of exertion and soreness is an important step in the recipe for consistency and long-term fitness success.

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