This is actually a question that I have been getting a lot lately. You might have even experienced the same thing. You are getting to week 3, week 4, round 2, etc of your fitness program – and you are worried that you arent pushing hard enough because you dont feel sore after working out.
So why are you not feeling sore?
Are you not pushing hard enough?
Are you doing the exercises wrong?
Is muscle confusion just a bunch of rubbish?
OR . . . Could it be something more complicated than that?
The muscle soreness that you feel 1-2 days after your workout IS NOT lactic acid buildup. Lets just get that straight right off the bat. The soreness that you feel is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
This is the reason that I avoid stairs at all costs after P90X: Legs & Back – and its the reason having a seat on the toilet hurts so bad, lol. And dont act like you dont know what Im talking about . . .
If you workout with sufficient intensity, you will produce microscopic tears in your muscle fibers (this is a good thing) which the body then has to repair. These can take up to 1-2 days to appear and can last for a week. It is this act of tearing muscle fibers and the repairing process that causes your soreness.
Important Note: This soreness should be a very good reminder that you need to feed those muscles that need repairing with the proper nutrients to promote a full recovery.
So if you are experiencing DOMS, then it is very clear that you had an effective workout, but dont get discouraged if you dont feel sore after a workout because the opposite is not always true.
I can think of 3 reasons off the top of my head why you dont feel sore after working out – without going into all the scientific research data that is available on the internet.
This is just pure honesty here . . . You either dont know how to workout with intensity because you think sweating is gross or your form is so ridiculous that you arent actually activating any major muscle groups.
So many people are afraid of pushing themselves to their limit because they dont want it to hurt. I will tell you right now that you will never see results until it hurts. I love what Shaun T says in The Asylum – he says, “the work doesnt start until it hurts”. That is where the magic happens – When you forget about the burning and suck it up and push out those 3 extra reps you though you couldnt do.
This really varies from person to person, but some people have muscle group that just dont get sore after a workout. Its sort of frustrating because we are so used to measuring the effectiveness of a workout by how sore we are afterwards.
For me – My shoulders will not get sore . . . Its the weirdest thing because every single other muscle in my body will get DOMS but my shoulders have some type of Jedi force-field around them that keeps them from getting sore. I know I am getting a killer workout though because I am seeing visible gains.
This is where that 48 hour rest between working out muscle group become very important. In addition, this is why the recovery week is so important during any fitness program. This gives your muscles a complete break from the tearing and repairing and lets them focus solely on repairing.
A lot of people overdo their workouts and figure that more is better but that simply isnt the case. Muscle grow at rest and if you are not feeling sore, there is a good chance that your muscles are not fully recovered. This is why sleep is so important.
. . . is not by how sore you are the next few days after your workout – but instead, measure your progress by tracking your strength gains. This is the best indicator that you are pushing yourself and not holding back. That is why I highly recommend that you be sure you are tracking both your reps and weights used on each move.
So dont let the lack of muscle soreness get you down. Analyze what you are doing and ask yourself, “can I do better?”. If you can, then DO BETTER! You should always be doing your best anyway!!! If you find that you are lacking in some aspect of your workout intensity then do something about it and break a sweat, get down, push hard, and dont leave anything behind by the time the video ends.
Focus on what YOU can control and the progress will continue – even if it doesnt hurt 2 days later, lol.
Share this post and leave a reply if you found it helpful!