T Nation

How Much Sorness Is Good?


Hi guys

I have been training for about two years now, except for 6 months I did nearly nothing (apart from physio) because of a shoulder injury.

I have always liked the feeling of soreness (or DOMS like some people call it) that you get the next day after a good workout. I mean a little bit of soreness and not the nasty soreness that comes from not warming up or the pain from an injury.

The problem is that I'm finding it ever more difficult to get that feeling and I don't know whether it means Im doing something wrong or maybe because you really arent suppossed to be sored

I train 3 times a week (sometimes in a lucky week i can squezee 4 workouts). I change my exercises every 4 or 5 weeks to keep things interesting but also because is only when Im doing an exercise for the first time ever (or the first time after not having used said exercise for a while)that I get the sought after soreness.

I only use freeweights because I never liked the feeling from the machines and now that i quit the gym and train at home even more so (I dont have machines at home obviously). I also make sure Im training hard and intense to make sure Im not simply wasting my time. Still, I seldom get sored the next day!

What am I doing wrong with regards to training? or maybe I'm wrong by being obsessed with the soreness?, is only that I dont have that much time to exercise so when i do it i wanna be reassured that I'm giving it my best shot and the soreness was kind of reassuring that at least Im working hard. Maybe you are not suppossed to get sored?

I miss that pain, please advice me



I read an article on this website a while back that dictated a weight training routine called 'Shut Up and Lift'. Following that program I change my rep schedule every week, starting with 3-10, followed with 4-5, and further followed with 5-3. The idea is to spend one week with failure at 8-10 reps, another with failure at 3-5 reps, and the last with failure as close to 3 reps as possible using whatever weight takes you to that failure criterion. I have used it since August, and I am still getting sore after every workout.


Soreness is nowhere near the most important thing. If you try something new you will probably get sore, but what is much more important is that you are progressing, i.e. lifting more weight, more reps, or both, each session. Do that, don't worry about soreness.


Seventeen DOMS is the ideal amount of DOMS.


ha ha, that got you sored.

WTF OP, learn to English.


That quite about sums it up.

OP, are you progressing?


Thanx guys
I do progress (albeit very sloooooooowly), eventually I can lift more or do more reps but I'm always paranoid about undertraining

Thnx again guys


I've found soreness to really not be a great indicator of how good or intense a workout is. Admittedly, usually after workouts I'm extremely sore the next day, but there have been times where I feel no soreness and then come back the next week and have major gains in my lifts.

On the other hand, in the past when I was dumb(er) than I am now about working out, I would do ridiculous set and rep ranges, hardly be able to move my bodypart the next day, and not increase my weight or the weight I was pushing for months...

Just lift hard, eat a lot and let the mirror, scale, and iron be your measuring sticks.


Soreness has nothing to do with it. If I can double my bench without ever getting sore, you'd better believe I'd be bigger.


How slowly? Shouldn't be that slow at this stage. Maybe describe your workouts/diet and we could help you more.