T Nation

Inclines and Soreness


1.) Is there much difference between the incline press and the shoulder press? only difference i can think of is that incline you are on an incline (duh).

2.) Some guys I am friends with say that after a certain # of weeks you begin to not get sore after workouts. I'm not sure if this is because their body is adapting to their workouts, or what?

This raises the question: if you were to workout every week of your life, would you be sore (every day of your life). When do you reach this point?

Thanks in advance.


Considering a shoulder press is usually done on a very high incline or at a 90-degree angle (standing or seated), I'd say that there is quite a difference. As the shoulder press emphasizes the delts (and potentially the upper pecs around the collarbone). However, you can set an incline bench very high as well and get upper pec/shoulder work. Or you can do inclines at a 30 to 45-degree angle and target your chest more so.

Soreness is not an indicator of progress. Soreness is usually due to the fact that the movement is new to the body, or some change was made in the training to elicit a new response. It could happen from switching things up all the time, or it could happen because your nutritional intake is too low causing excessive muscle damage and soreness because the body is not recovering. Typically, you will not be sore over time due to the body adapting. But that doesn't mean you aren't progressing. Do not go by soreness. Do not seek soreness. Seek improvements.

As Charles Staley has said before, "If you want to be sore all the time, become a sparring partner for Mike Tyson."


Thanks, although i have to make a joke about Tyson before someone else does. [Insert old joke here].

He's still pretty beefy though. Could kick my ass.

So is it very well possible to gain 10+lbs without feeling much soreness? I never considered this.


Of course. As long as you continue to make progress, don't worry about how sore you feel over the next few days (DOMS). Watch your poundages and lean muscle weight. That's the point.

On the other hand, there is nothing better than waking up in the morning with [slightly] swollen, sore muscles. That nice tight (but not painful) feeling that let you know that you killed your target muscles the day (or days before). You can almost feel them growing. :slight_smile:

But all that doesn't mean shit (it's just a mental thing); however, if you find that you aren't progressing poundage-wise or are losing muscle -- a poor diet and/or overtraining may be the culprit.

Good luck!


There are a lot of factors that contribute to soreness, but it should not be a full time feeling. It's been a while since I've had any long breaks from lifting, but even with those, I've never been sore for more than a few days.


If you are newbie at irongame, you maybe get at least little soreness after almost every workout. Sometimes training didn't feel so hard, but next day(s) you feel soreness. And yes, if you don't chance anything of your workout, you body will adapt it, and you gains will lack .