Do You Need to Get Sore to Build Muscle?

Do You Need to Get Sore to Build Muscle?

DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. You know it as that soreness you feel the day after, and even more the 2nd day after a hard workout. DOMS is caused by microscopic tears that happen in the muscle tissue during exercise. Those tears are necessary so when the muscle heals itself, it will come back a little bigger and stronger. Soreness can happen from a particularly intense workout or even after you do a workout or exercise that's simply new for you. A very common cause of DOMS comes from eccentric contractions - imagine the downward phase of biceps curl or the downward phase of push up or pull up. And from downhill activity. Yes, running down a hill or down stairs causes more DOMS than running up! For some people it's so unpleasant, it turns them off from exercising altogether or just from ever trying anything new. But for most people, it's a badge of honor that says "I pushed it!" Muscle soreness is not always necessary for you to improve your fitness level. Occasional soreness is a good thing.  It can be an indication you pushed to the next level.  Avoiding it altogether can slow down progress and eventually lead to a plateau. To improve the strength of a muscle, it does need to get fatigued to where the reps get very hard to do without losing form. For people who are very focused on avoiding muscle soreness, it may take more time to see improvements and gain muscle. If you're one of these people, you will just have to progress very s l o w l...

SMR: Pain Relief Tools if You’re Tight, Sore or Getting Injured

If you're feeling tight, sore or getting repeatedly injured, you can find relief outside of the doctor or physical therapists office with the proper pain relief tool kit.  You may even prevent injuries that may be brewing below the surface but haven't shown up yet.     Injuries can come from having muscular imbalances... like one side being stronger or more flexible than the other   It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete pushing your limits or a desk jockey. Give it some time and a musculoskeletal injury will occur sooner or later. It can come from developing a faulty movement pattern when you walk, run, do housework or exercise, or just sit at your desk to work. If one part of your body is not performing optimally, it will cause another part of the body to compensate, and over time, this can cause a muscular imbalance.   Imbalances can come from overusing one side of the body more than the other, from poor posture or, from an accident or old injury. Eventually this can lead to injury because one area of the body will be getting stronger or tighter while another gets weaker. If you’re the proactive type, you may go to a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor to get balanced out when you feel something isn’t quite right. But too many of us let the little aches and pains fester until they get so bad we need to go to the doctor – we may even get so used to having them we forget they’re there. Aside from needing medical treatment eventually, there’s another down side to living...

Do Your Workouts Need to Make You Sore to Work?

Love it or loathe it, muscle soreness after a workout make us feel like we accomplished something "good." Even though the old adage, "no pain, no gain" is about as legit today as using leeches to detoxify blood, many of us still can't help but feel that a few days of après workout soreness is a testament to how good the sesh was. First, let's get our terminology clear. The soreness I'm referring to is known as "delayed onset muscle soreness" or DOMS. It's that slightly uncomfortable feeling to downright insufferable stiffness you may experience for a few days (or more) after workout. This is not the same as the burning sensation you feel in your muscles when you're pushing hard and eventually causes you to back off. The true cause of this burn is being hotly debated. For years, the common theory said it was from "lactic acid" build up in the muscle but it turns out that lactic acid actually buffers the burn, not causes it. If your trainer still is saying the burn is from lactic acid, suggest that they read up on the latest research. If however they say the soreness after the workout (DOMS) is due to lactic acid, well, that's an old myth and is completely false. Interestingly, however, you can experience a lot of muscle burn while working out and still not have DOMS afterwards. So how necessary is muscle soreness for seeing results? It's actually not. DOMS is caused by microscopic tears that damage the muscle. While this can "enhance" muscle growth according to Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., assistant professor in exercise...