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What Does It Mean If I'm Not Sore After a Workout?

What Does It Mean If I'm Not Sore After a Workout?

What Does It Mean If I'm Not Sore After a Workout?
what-does-it-mean-if-i-m-not-sore-after-a-workout

What does it mean if I’m not sore after a workout? I get asked this question A LOT and I can totally understand why! Many people associate sore muscles with a good workout, so they feel like if they don’t feel sore the next day, then it must have been a waste of time. Or alternatively, some people may only get sore muscles from certain workouts, and not others. Then this leads them to think those workouts are less effective than the ones they feel post-workout soreness from. 

Let me make it clear that I don’t believe that post-workout soreness should be used as an indicator of a good workout. 

So, now you may be totally confused and wondering, “Well, if I’m not sore, then did I have a good workout? And if I am sore, does this mean it was bad?”. Keep reading! I will tell you everything you need to know about post-workout muscle soreness. 

What is post-workout muscle soreness and what causes it? 

When we exercise, our muscles are continually contracting (shortening) and extending (lengthening). This is necessary to help us to move, to lift weights, to jump and so on. However, when a muscle is lengthened a little more than it’s used to, for example, during a BBG workout or hike, then it can experience small tears (called micro tears). This can then present as a dull, achy pain or even stiffness in your muscles 12-72 hours later.

The technical term for this is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as DOMS. If you’re not sure what I mean, let me explain it this way: have you ever done a tough leg workout and then gone to the bathroom the next day and not been able to sit on the toilet (or get back up once you do)? That’s the pain that I’m talking about! Haha!

When you’re new to an exercise program, post-workout muscle soreness might occur quite often (for example, after every workout) for the first few weeks. This is because your muscles are being used in different ways to what they have previously and they are learning to adapt. While your body is adapting, you can also try different ways to help your body recover from workouts too. 

This brings me to the next question:

What does it mean if you don’t get sore after a workout?


After doing the same exercises or exercise program for a while, you may find the frequency (how often it happens) and severity (how ‘bad’ it is) of post-workout soreness is reduced. 

This is because your body can begin to get used to that style or training. That means there might be fewer micro tears, which can result in less soreness and a faster recovery. In other words, this is a sign that your body is adapting and changing, which is a good thing!

Many people fall into the trap of thinking that if they don’t feel sore the next day that their exercise program is no longer working for them, which is not always the case. Your body is getting fitter and stronger, and who doesn’t want that? Let’s be real here, would we all keep working out if we experienced extreme soreness each and every time we trained? Probably not!

Once you establish a consistent workout routine, then you might find that you will only feel sore when you do a new exercise that forces you to use your muscles in a different way. Or maybe when you do a targeted workout that requires you to work the same muscles (or muscle groups), such as your legs, over and over.
While post-workout muscle soreness might make you FEEL like you’ve had a good workout, it’s important to remember that not being sore the day after does not mean that your workout was useless or a waste of your time.

Sweat With Kayla

If post-workout soreness isn’t the only indication of a good workout, then what is?

Once you’re no longer feeling muscle soreness from a good workout, you might be starting to question whether you are still making progress with your workouts. 

When I say ‘progress’ I’m not just talking about losing weight. I’m asking you:

  • If your workout routine is making you fitter? 
  • Are you able to do more reps or lift heavier weights than when you first started? 
  • Are you becoming more toned? 
  • Are you able to push through a tough workout better than you used to? 
  • Do you walk away from each of your workouts feeling like you’ve given it your all?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, then it is likely that your workout routine is still working for you and your body, even if you’re not experiencing muscle soreness after every workout. These can be signs your fitness is improving thanks to your hard work!

In saying that, if you feel like you’re no longer making progress, are bored and you dread working out each and every day, then it might be time to switch things up and find a new way to challenge your body. As well as getting results, it’s important for you to enjoy what you’re doing, as ultimately, this is what can keep you coming back for more!

Love, Kayla xx
 

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

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