July 27, 2014
Does Pain Equal Progress?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “no pain, no gain” – a simple way of saying that you won’t achieve your fitness goals without pushing yourself. This is true to some extent, you should push yourself, and you should feel tired after a really good workout. BUT that achy feeling you get after a workout doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making changes to your body. Trainer Ethan Grossman, who has a degree in exercise science, says, “If someone gets really sore, it doesn’t indicate they’re building more or less muscle, or did more or less damage, per se. It’s usually just a novel stimulus,” which means that because you’ve changed up your workout, you are surprising your body with something new, resulting in a sore feeling. Based on this info, pain doesn’t necessarily equal progress, so how can you get significant change in your body? Try to build up some consistency in your workout, and leave time for recovery, don’t just trust that sore feeling to tell if you’ve had a good workout. Constant soreness doesn’t mean consistent progress, it just means that you’ve changed up your routine, which isn’t a bad thing at all, just a misleading feeling. For those particularly achy days, focus on exercises that get your blood flowing without overtaxing your muscles - pick something low intensity for a recovery-mode kind of workout.