Let's talk about SORE

Whoever can be credited with the phrase “No Pain No Gain” made marketing gold with that statement. People repeat it, believe it and live it. But … as a former advertising and marketing person I’m hear to tell you just because it’s catchy and repeated …doesn’t make it true! Anybody remember how eggs were bad for us for a while … all due to marketing? And Snackswells was a health food … all due to marketing. (Side note- I don’t even want to think about how many Snackswells pudding cups I consumed in the 90’s thinking I was eating healthy!!!)

Hopefully you see where I am going here - repetition and good marketing - don’t replace actual science.

So let’s talk about sore and whether Pain should be your measure of a successful workout. What exactly causes sore muscles? The soreness you feel is actual micro-injuries to your muscles. Extreme soreness - bigger injuries to your muscles. Little injuries bring blood and nutrients to the muscle to promote healing and result in stronger muscles. Big injuries and big soreness can cause damage that is not so easily repaired and not so good for the muscle.

Let’s put this in terms most ladies can relate to! Have you hear of micro-needling? It’s a treatment for your skin that uses a roller with tiny needles to puncture the skin making tiny cuts. Those tiny cuts or tiny injuries case blood and collagen to work to repair the skin resulting in healthier skin. The key is - these are tiny injuries. Now it you took a big knife and sliced your face … chance are you would end up with a big scar not healthier skin! Get the point?

It’s the same with working out. It’s okay to be a little sore but it’s not always necessary to have a good workout. And if you find your workouts perpetually leave you sore for days afterwards you may be on your way to a serious injury or muscle breakdown. I also find extreme soreness can be demotivating - making us skip our next workout, rest a few days or scale back what we had planned to do. In that respect, being too sore works against us in the long run.

Next time you are trying to measure the effectiveness of your workout, here are some things you can check:

  • Am I improving and progressing with the movement?

  • Am I learning a new skill?

  • Am noticing positive changes in my body?

  • Do I feel stronger or more capable?

  • Is my confidence growing?

  • Do I stand taller or have improved posture?

  • Do I have less pain throughout my day?

All of these are far better measures of a great workout than how sore you are afterwards!