Ever been to the gym and pushed really hard, to wake up the next day feeling like you’ve been run over by the gym…this is known as DOMS! (delayed onset of muscular soreness). This can be a sign of working hard in the gym, but what happens if you don’t feel any soreness at all the next few days after a workout? Does it mean the workout was ineffective?
it’s worth getting this straight right off the bat…having DOMS after a workout is neither a good or bad thing. The soreness you feel after workouts is the side effect of your muscles trying to adapt to the new stimuli that you’re presenting it with, which causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. So if you’ve recently changed a few exercises, sets or rep ranges on your plan, or simply increased the weight on something…these are all possible ways you may feel some soreness after. There’s also many other factors to take into consideration as to why you may NOT feel any soreness though…
Those micro-tears you’ve caused in workouts build back stronger through adequate recovery protocols, i.e. dialled in diet, drinking the correct amount of fluids, taking rest days and generally looking after your body with enough sleep etc. Some people can recover quicker than other, usually age dependent, but this may be one reason you’re not sore…you’ve simply recovered.
Fitness Plan Longevity
If you’re on a plan that’s say 4-8 weeks long, then the chances are you’re not changing too much over those weeks as you’re allowing your body to get used to the new stimulus and instead focusing on form, execution and slight increases in strength here and there…some like to switch things up every workout, others like routine…you’ll probably feel some soreness if you switch to a totally different plan eventually.
Any time you change something in your plan and stay consistent…then chances are you’re generally getting fitter, healthier, stronger anyways. These improved energy levels and fitness simply mean you’re finding it easier to get through what used to be a hard workout…take this as a positive…you’re seeing progression!
So don’t worry?
Exactly…never use soreness as a way to measure whether you’ve worked out hard enough or something ‘isn’t working‘. There’s so many factors as to why you’re still going to get results, your training is still effective and you’re simply seeing progress in different forms, whether it’s recovering better or performing better. The only 1 thing to take note of, is if you’ve been doing the same thing for more than say 8 weeks…you may have hit a plateau and should look to switch things up.
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