Muscle soreness = successful workout?

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mezza550
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Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by mezza550 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:16 am

Hi all,

Newbie bodybuilder here... I have a quick question- it makes intuitive sense that if my muscles are sore the day following a heavy lifting workout, I have done "well", i.e. my muscles have been sufficiently worked to induce new muscle growth. But in the process of learning more about bodybuilding, I've run in to many non-intuitive truths, and I want to be sure I'm doing the right things.

So is it true that muscle soreness is the hallmark of new muscle growth? If so, is it true for lifters of all experience, or just new lifters? I have a strong friend who says he doesn't get sore anymore, just tight feeling muscles. Also... more sore = more growth? Or is that a myth?

Thanks much!

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Dub
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Re: Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by Dub » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:31 am

Muslce soreness (Or DOMS) is not the indicator of a good workout. Not even for bodybuilders.
There is no straight true answer on what causes the muscle soreness. Some sources claim it's the lactic acid running through our muscles after a workout and during it, some blame inflammation, eccentric stress and muscle fiber damage. I think all of these have something to do with the soreness. However, this can also be the proof that it's not really the best indicator of progress.

Inflammation is a part of muscle regeneration and hypertrophy yes, but the most important things still happen on different levels. Resistance exercise causes rise in so many different processes, including protein synthesis, growth hormone, insulin sensitivity, glygocen synthase etc..Almost all kinds of resistance training will cause this. And coupled with correct nutrition, you get results.

Hypertrophy training tends to cause DOMS, atleast in the beginning of the program. It's purpouse is to fatique the muscle and give inadequate recovery during sets. Which will lead to lactate building and most likely more damaged muscle tissue. Time under tension will also trigger lots of hormonal responses and tend to activate some important pathways for growth.

But the longer you train, your body adapts to all that damage, and the DOMS reduce some amount. It happens with the beginners and the more intermediate trainers. I always have soreness when I start something new in the gym, no matter the rep range. Many people use BCAA's and anti-inflammatory supplements to reduce the soreness with success. That may incdicate that inflammation is a big part of DOMS.
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stuward
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Re: Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by stuward » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:42 am

The main point to take away is that, although it is common, pain. or lack of pain, does no mean your workout was effective or not. All it indicates is that you had a new stimulus that your body wasn't used to.
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kibe69
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Re: Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by kibe69 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:04 pm

Soreness definetly isnt a good indicator of anything but if you dont feel anything in your muscles the next day then your workout was probably too light. I dont get much sore from anything anymore but i do feel some tightness for few days after a good workout.

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Re: Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:23 pm

I really don't agree with
kibe69 wrote:if you dont feel anything in your muscles the next day then your workout was probably too light.
If you lift regularly, you will feel tired after a hard workout, but you should be feeling good after a few hours, especially if you get a good night's sleep.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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pdellorto
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Re: Muscle soreness = successful workout?

Post by pdellorto » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:01 pm

Jungledoc wrote:I really don't agree with
kibe69 wrote:if you dont feel anything in your muscles the next day then your workout was probably too light.
If you lift regularly, you will feel tired after a hard workout, but you should be feeling good after a few hours, especially if you get a good night's sleep.
I don't agree with that either, and I'm someone who gets sore very easily from lifting.

The real measure of a workout is long-term. Are you getting closer to your goals? Getting stronger, getting leaner, getting faster, etc. in the long term? Soreness is an indication of new stimulus or harder stimulus or just exercise choice, not an indication of success or failure.

I go through this occasionally with clients - I got on vacation, someone else covers and they do a very different workout. They say "I got really sore, I think it was a better workout." Okay, sure, but with me you didn't get sore but your lifts went up, your body fat percentage went down, and you've been injury free. But it's easy to mistake soreness with results, and effort with utility. Just because something grinds you down or was hard or made you sore doesn't mean it's going to make you better.

Joe DeFranco brought that up once - any trainer can make you sore or make you puke, but that's not a measure of your improvement. Soreness is soreness. Recognize that it's going to happen or not happen, but that you need other ways of evaluating your workouts.
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