Don’t Chase Muscle Soreness
You’ve probably been guilty or even still are of using ‘muscle soreness’ or DOMS as an indicator of a good or effective workout. I’m here to tell you that muscle soreness after a workout is the least important factor and shouldn’t be used to rate your workouts and their effectiveness.
Firstly muscle soreness is caused from trauma or mechanical stress to the tissues. This typically occurs when we do exercise which is strenuous or that we aren’t accustomed to. DOMS – Delayed onset of Muscle soreness is when you experience muscle soreness anywhere from 24-48hours post exercise and can sometimes linger for up to 3-4 days.
Muscle soreness is very common in untrained individuals and you will notice it a lot more when you start to get back into exercising. As your fitness improves however so will your strength and endurance making you more tolerable to strenuous exercise and higher workloads and intensities. Simply put the fitter and stronger you are, the less likely that muscle soreness will be evident. So if anything the fact that you aren’t experiencing soreness is a good thing and an indication your fitness is improving.
That’s not to say that muscle soreness is bad or should be avoided either. As i said previously doing something you aren’t accustomed to can also cause soreness. A trained individual will experience soreness when they do something beyond or different to what they are used to doing.
So instead of trying to chase muscle soreness or using that as a measure for an effective workout think about if you are progressing in your abilities and how you feel after you exercise.
A big downside to muscle soreness that you might not have taken into account either is the fact that your muscle soreness will subconsciously make you less active then you would usually be, and you won’t even notice. You are also more likely to skip workouts or not train as hard as you usually would when you are sore.