Sore muscles = Good workout Not sore = No effect?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 12, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    Whenever I go back to hitting the gym after about a 1 month break, my muscles feel sore the next day.

    Then after going back to the gym every 3-4 days , the soreness gradually lessens, until it doesn't feel sore anymore.

    Question is :
    Is the muscle soreness the indicator for muscle buildup?
    If you don't feel your muscles getting sore, does that mean your workout didn't do anything?
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    Jun 12, 2009 3:34 AM GMT
    Muscle soreness is caused by you doing something your body is not used to. If you take month long breaks, you're not going to retain your strength. No, you do not have to be sore after every work out, and if you are sore after every one it's your body telling you that something's not right.

    Look up Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and Acute Onset Muscle Soreness for descriptions of what muscle soreness is.
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    Jun 12, 2009 6:21 AM GMT
    Old school thought said that muscle soreness was lactic acid accumulation. New school thought is that it's microtears. Soreness is relative to a number of chemical processes that someone with a background in the science can relate to you more fully. You should feel free to research this yourself online.

    Contingent to how much resistance training you've done, your state of general health, and fitness, and your caloric intake, your ability to recover from exercise stimulus, including resistance training, can vary significantly.

    With regard to strength training, losses generally don't occur until after 21 days / 3 weeks, in most studies. Missing workouts, and taking time to recover can often speed your progess, particulary if you are not eating adequate calories.

    If you are only training once a month, you may wish to reconsider your training methods, and move to something more effective.

    Resistance training is EXTEMELY intensive and you MUST have time to recover.

    Clearly, however, taking a month off isn't a good plan in the big picture.
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    Jun 12, 2009 7:03 AM GMT
    1 month break? That's not a break that sounds like just laziness.

    Can I ask why you need 1 month break?

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    Jun 13, 2009 5:09 AM GMT
    Chucky gave very good advice. If I was a novice trainer, I would go to his personal site on here and read his posts. He has some great advice to offer and guys that do not know much about working out could learn some great things for free. Avoid fitness magazines that print anything that will sell issues. Find a guy on here that has the physique, ect., that you want and ask them questions and pick their brains. If you are a runner, find a runner. If you are a triathlete, find a triathlete. If you want to be a powerlifter or bodybuilder, find one and send a personal email asking advice. I am none of the above, just a guy that has lifted and been in the gym for 20+ years. I get emails all the time and I answer each and every one. Pass it on.
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    Jun 14, 2009 1:53 AM GMT
    As an endurance athlete in a sport that uses some strength training, soreness is not a good thing - you have to be up and running the next day!

    We increase resistence slowly, and use high-rep work more than max lifting, and also do a lot of very sport-specific strength training. In an endurance sport, the last thing you want is to haul around more weight or non-performing muscle.

    Pain and stiffness are there to tell you something!
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    Jun 15, 2009 3:28 AM GMT
    I've been told that the soreness come frm the the tearing of your muscles as you are lifting heavy weights and the growth cokes as your muscle repairs itself. I've also been told that after you've been traing for awhile..... that no longer happens
  • jrc2005

    Posts: 73

    Jun 16, 2009 10:46 AM GMT
    I'm not sure if any of this explains why someone who works out regularly for years and generally doesn't get too sore unless he does something new and unusual at the gym...but then takes a week off, and spends his first week back on soooooorrreeeee. I think it happens to all of us. I can't imagine after one week off that my body has 'forgotten' how I like to punish it; I also don't think the muscles tear more after just a week off; I don't know about lactic acid collecting more after a week off.
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    Jun 18, 2009 8:21 PM GMT
    this is really interesting as i always thought that feeling the workout the next day... getting that ow as you walk upstairs or lower to sit down etc. ... where the best part of working out.

    How i soon discovered that that was simply because I trained so sporadically! I started working out at Gay Men's Boot Camp three times a week and after the first couple of weeks attendance, it stopped aching but I began to see the change.. give me effectiveness over pain any day of the week!

    Thank god for Gay Men's Boot Camp!icon_exclaim.gif
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    Jun 18, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    The soreness your body feels after working out (usually when you change up your routine or do something new) is your muscle fibers repairing the mircrotears and rebuilding new muscle tissue. The sorenss (I believe) is a good thing because it means you did something that was effective. Now, there is a difference between a workout soreness and an injury soreness. If you are sore with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) post workout, then wait a couple days to re-work that same muscle group for the best gains. I wait until I am nearly completely recovered before I hit the same group again. If I am not sore within the next couple days post workout then I know I must increase my weight/intensity or switch up the workout. Try taking Glutamine and vit C before bed.. it replaces the ATP content lost in the muscle during the workout and aids in quicker muscle recovery.. and obviously drink plenty of water to flush out those excess toxins left behind.

    Hope that helps. =)
  • intruder

    Posts: 45

    Aug 14, 2009 1:07 AM GMT
    I don't always feel sore after a workout. However, if I miss a particular muscle group for a week, I certainly do get that soreness again. I felt a LOT more pain in my first few months of workouts while I was getting used to the exercise.

    The comments here are relieving and seem to agree with what I observe in myself. I change my routine regularly - like every few months - to keep my body guessing. My body is usually sore the first few runs through the new routine, and I do increase weights when something feels "too light" or "too easy", but I gave up on the idea that you have to hurt a lot to gain a lot.

    I did find that every time I change my routine, I either lose body fat, or gain lean mass, and sometimes both. So I'm thinking change or surprise is more important than pain or "the burn". I'm not gaining all that fast, but certainly my fitness is steadily uphill, and I don't have trouble functioning the next day.