Do You Still Workout If You Are Feeling Your Last Workout?

I’ve mainly been reading about HIT through Mike Mentzers books, and he would of course answer this question with a big no! However I do feel like the amount of rest days he advocated between workouts was a bit extreme. So I’d like to know what you all think about training when you are still mildly sore from your last session; would you carry on with your scheduled workout or allow another rest day, and why?

I’m still sore pretty much every session and I’ve been lifting for 14 years. I think it’s just everyone’s individual response to exercise is different. Training again can help alleviate soreness. The main way to tell if you’ve truly recovered from your last session or not is if your performance is better or worse than last time.


As long as the soreness is bearable - I’m still going to work out. If your joints feel like shit though, it’s best to wait until they’re ready for the exertion again.


This is where I’m at – normal muscle soreness and I train. Joints are barking at me more than normal and I either wait or substitute something else. I used to just pop some NSAIDs and train in the latter situation; not a good long term approach.

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I’ve never believed in circumin, but I will say that Biotest’s Circumin supplement works. I thought it might have just been placebo, but I had really bad body aches when I had Covid - I took some circumin and it it reduced significantly. For reference: none of the other cold/flu medications did a damn thing to help the body aches.

I don’t feel much different during normal workouts, but why would you? It’s like saying “I should feel injured right now, but I don’t”
Anyways, it’s worth considering.

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Thanks, curcumin has been in my regimen for a long time. I notice a difference between the new Biotest one vs. the old one.

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Absolutely not.

While soreness and muscular damage aren’t the same thing, I’d still treat it as largely indicative that the muscle hasn’t recovered from the previous workout.

And since the whole point of working out is create an adaption to the stresses you’ve placed on the muscle in the form of increased muscle mass, which will not occur until the muscle has fully recovered, I’d consider it completely counterproductive.

And as for what Mentzer said about rest days, I believe most miss the point he was actually making, much to their detriment. You take as many days as is required before working out a muscle again. Recovery times will differ significantly between individuals.

And when people talk about him saying you should take 9 days between workouts etc, he was talking about people who are extremely close to their full genetic potential which most on this board aren’t, because the bigger the muscle, the longer it takes to recover. Seems perfectly reasonable and rational to me.

Training is what helps me get through the soreness. It takes MUCH longer to recover if I don’t train.

I did 10x10 deadlifts with 400lbs yesterday. I woke up and my body was a wreck this morning. So the first thing I did was a 10 round circuit of 5 burpee chins, 5 KB swings with a 40kg competion bell and 5 dips, along with some odds and ends. I could move again after that.


There’s a distinction to be made between soreness (like DOMs) and the recovery of damaged muscle fibres. The latter being the most pertinent to hypertrophy. Soreness is more like an inflammation around the muscle, which you can sometimes get rid of by getting some blood flowing, just as you did in your example, it doesn’t mean the muscle itself at the level of the fibres has fully recovered though.

As I said in my last post, I basically just tend to err on the side of “well if I still have soreness, I’m going to presume the muscle itself hasn’t fully recovered” working on the basis that if you were to cut your finger for example, the inflammation will go down quite a while before the cut has fully healed.

You’re more than welcome to disagree on what I said equating soreness with inflammation around the muscle. I don’t know this to be a scientific fact, it’s just from my understanding of various things I’ve read along with my own personal experience.

Pulled from Wikipedia, referencing a study:

Soreness might conceivably serve as a warning to reduce muscle activity to prevent injury or further injury. With delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) caused by eccentric exercise (muscle lengthening), it was observed that light concentric exercise (muscle shortening) during DOMS can cause initially more pain but was followed by a temporary alleviation of soreness with no adverse effects on muscle function or recovery being observed.[2]: 68 Furthermore, eccentric exercise during DOMS was found to not exacerbate muscle damage, nor did it have an adverse effect on recovery, indicating that soreness is not necessarily a warning sign to reduce the usage of the affected muscle.[2]: 68 However, it was also observed that a second bout of eccentric exercise within one week of the initial exercise did lead to decreased muscle function immediately afterwards.[2]: 70

Ref: Delayed onset muscle soreness - Wikipedia

Not arguing, just giving some info that may prove helpful =)

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That’s really interesting. Place a big emphasis on eccentrics and have found working a muscle group around once every 7 days is the sweet spot for me personally (at the moment anyway) and where I see the most progress. :grinning:

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How is that working out for you?

When I trained HVT body splits I trained 5-6 days a week and got accustomed to (adapted to) this type of training. DOMS didn’t bother me that much back then. I was also younger, with better recovery ability. Not that I even cared - you trained like Arnold did - or you did not train at all. No pain no gain. The result was, in my case, underwhelming. But I looked like I trained. LOL

Doing full body HIT, or should I say - after gotten into the thinking behind HIT - I see myself reflecting more on how I’m feeling, the way I’m performing the reps, the planning ahead of my workout - and the constant evaluation on form and feel during workout. Simply put I’m thinking more. Which in turn becomes a realization - Am I physically in a state to even try to beat my last workout? My personal observations over time, has lead me to my best workout schedule every third day. It all depends on the intensity. Darden’s 30-10-30 can easily turn into overtraining. Wisely chosen routines, with variation, can overcome that as well as adaptation. But, I would never be able to train full body HIT more than three times a week.

Maybe I should add that Dr Darden never advocated against training with lighter DOMS.

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Really well, to be honest. Used to train with a much higher frequency however, I’ve personally found that this kind of erring more on the side of caution with recovery works much better for me in terms of making muscle and strength gains.

The amount of recovery a person requires is extremely dependent on the individual, so it’s not something I’d ever be “dogmatic” on. If people feel like they’re fully recovered and can train with greater or higher or frequency, good luck to them!


What does that look like?

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Well, since I shifted to doing HIT workouts towards the back end of last year and started paying far greater attention to recovery, I’ve added 3 inches to my chest, an inch to my biceps which had hit a plateau for around a year, a couple of inches to my quads, and so on. My strength is also consistently increasing every single week as I said.

The amount of time I spend in the gym has reduced dramatically, while my progress which had completely stalled has improved dramatically.

I know it’s popular in some circles to hate on HIT, and they can hate on it all they want, personally, I wish I’d discovered it years ago.


Happy to hear it dude, that’s awesome! The waist change at all with those measurements?

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Only half an inch on my stomach, which I’m not particularly troubled by at this time of year. Planning a cut from the middle of next month anyway.

Happy to hear it dude. I’ve been experiencing significant success with my approach as well. It’s amazing how many avenues are available to get jacked.


I made the best gains of my life when I trained every day. That’s why I still do it

I made no gains when I used to take the ‘rest days’ as advised by internet fitness gimps.

What the fuck is an actual ‘rest day’ anyway?

Lying in your pit all day watching YouTube and eating protein?

Try telling someone who has two toddlers to take a ‘rest day’