T Nation

How Do You View Soreness?


Do you take soreness as a sign to back off a while, or a speedbump to push through? I'm talking about the soreness that comes with a new movement or an exercise you have not done in a while. F'rinstance, I just started doing skullcrushers, which is a different stress than the dips I normally do,and my tri's are sore 48 hours later.

Should I accept the soreness as part of the repair/growth cycle, wait until it subsides before doing triceps again, or push through and do my workout today, knowing I may not get all the way through it, since I'm starting out sore??


I usually test the waters. See how sore I really am after some good dynamic work. I usually find that Ican work through it and have a good workout. Gotta go though, its workout time.


I was thinking about this to myself this morning.

I view soreness as a good indicator to tell me where my muscles were hit more during a particular work out. This usually happens when I try something new.

Example, like if you change your grip on pullups from your normal grip, you may feel it more in you back, or lats.

Other times I see soreness as an indicator that I overdid it in an are....or I see soreness as an indicator that I should be working this muscle out more, cause I shouldn't get sore. Example, if my legs are sore after squating, it probably means I'm not squating enough in my training program.


It all depends... if the soreness is site specific to the area I trained and it's mild I usually go to the gym to do some active recovery work (stretching, working some other not as sore bodypart)

Sometimes soreness tells you when you are actually doing a workout properly... I've found that ME deadlifts tax every muscle group (especially back, legs, glutes, traps, & biceps)BUT also if you need more rest.

Also, if the soreness is paralyzing (legs 2 days after doing ME squats)then I take a break from the gym and just keep stretching at home & in the office.


call me old fashioned, but I view soreness as a sign of progress.

I know there's plenty of info out there that proves you can make gains without soreness as an indicator, but I've always made sure the muscle groups I'm working are sore for 2-4 days after I work them, and my muscles have kept growing, so I'm sticking to it...


I do too. At the least, soreness usually occurs when you're doing something a little different. And switching things up after a time is always good for growth.


All muscle soreness is or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is the break down of non-contractile proteins within the myofibril. It is not an indicator of progress, nor is it an indicator of overtraining; there are better ways to assess those conditions. However some people like me just love the feeling of sore pecs bouncing as you descend a flight of stairs.


So being sore after six days from squatting is not a good sign?? or what


Six days is a bit excessive. I've been sore up to about 5 days, but that's after a pretty serious leg workout of squats, deads, lunges, step-ups, leg press, etc. In other words, if you do a ton of volume for legs you'll be sore for quite a while, but 6 days might mean you're leaping a bit past your current abilities.

Either that or you're using waaaay too long of an eccentric portion of the lift, IMO


I view it as a sign that I've done a novel movement. If it's really sore, I see it that I've stressed my muscles in a novel way.

I usually wait until i'm pretty much back to normal. The way I see it, when sore they're still stressed and recovering, pushing them hard again could be a good way to injure myself.


you're quite wrong in your diagnosis. Why does everyone look at training....it's simple if you are sore that long look to your diet. There are many things that could be done such as proper PWO protocol, adequate protein/calories in the following days, proper nutrient timing, that is prolly the problem recovery is nearly ALL nutrition, and if I were to look at training I would'nt assess the workout either, i'd rather seek some active recovery......


All nutrition? I know what you're saying but I don't agree. I think it's 70% nutrition, 30% technique. Gotta remember though that without the workout, there would be no soreness so saying it's all nutrition is just not right imo.

I totally agree that active recovery techniques + good nutrition would help heaps though.


Yes, I don't think my diagnosis was "quite wrong", but perhaps not complete. Naturally, proper recovery through nutrition is essential, but if you tear down your muscles well beyond your training abilities, you're going to be sore longer than is beneficial regardless of how good your nutrition is.


Dammit you beat me to it. and I thought that was gonna such an original response.


Soreness in a lot of cases is a nutritional issue more than a training stimulus response.


Your thought process is a little backwards here. Could go into great length, but I wont.

70/30%?? Is there some quantitative source for these percentages?



Ok, first of all sure your training could be 70/30, does that mean that your rest does not count at all? Would you grow if you did'nt sleep as opposed to got 8 hours and an hour nap as well? First of all how could you establish parameters on ones training "limit". Thats horse shit. You were sore for too long so you prolly did too much? I'm telling you that 99% of the time it's from poor nutrition. Aso generally your muscles have recovered fully within 48-72hrs, just because they are still sore does not mean that they are still killed, it's just all kinds of broken down waste in your muscles which will limit the performance, I don't believe that being sore for too long leads to an inverse correlation as training efficiency or "out" of his limits. He needs better nutrition. Maybe he's on a cut and does'nt have enough calories.


Also how does his 6 days mean he "leaped" beyond his current ability, and you being sore for 5 was merely a "serious workout". What the fuck are you hercules?


What part of 'i think it's 70/30' made you think i had a 'qualitative' source for my info?

Most ppl don't realise how much nutrition impacts on their goals. Therefore, saying something crazy like 70/30 might get them thinking how important it is.

Of course there are other factors involved but i'm talking about training vs nutrition.


The more than 50% masochist in me says soreness is a key ingredient in muscle development. If you're still sore when you do the same muscle(s), just start light. See how you feel, go up a little. I believe that any stimulation will cause more growth. Remember, stress is what triggers growth (right?) - in that you body will develop to tolerate the stress into becoming non-stressful. "Ahnuld" did chest 3xweek at one time. He had to be sore. Look at his results. Simplistic, yes. Do it sore. Just not hard. (Like ME vs. DE days of the week.)