T Nation

Lack of Muscle Soreness

Sometimes I’m not sore the day after a workout. This lack of soreness makes me feel that my time was wasted in the gym the evening before. If I’m not sore, does that mean that I didn’t work hard enough? Does it mean I didn’t accomplish anything?
Also, say I work chest, back, and arms. Maybe only my chest and arms will be sore but not my back.
Am I working hard enough or not?

Well, when in doubt, work harder. Can’t go wrong.

When I want my muscles to be really sore, I get someone to hit me repeatedly with a baseball bat. Its a bitch on the abs, though.

You don’t always need to feel DOMS to have had a good workout. However, my personal experience is that doing more doesn’t necessarily solve the problem and may create an overtraining situation depending on how much you do. I have found that changing my routine…exercises, reps, TUT, order, bodypart priority, supersets, drop sets, etc,…usually brings the soreness right back. I change everything every three to four weeks and my muscles don’t get a chance to get toocomplacent (Weider principle number 11,786).

Steve F, yes, you can. You can overtrain.

Training with proper intensity and not experiencing DOMS is usually an indication of better than average recovery ability. To verify this would be if seeing regular progress in the gym. The true measure of gym success is not the amount of soreness but the amount of progress. If regularly increasing reps and pounds without soreness, consider yourself fortunate to have great recovery ability. If you aren’t progressing every week, then it would be an indication of poor training intensity or program structure.

How I chart my progress is how my strength is progressing. i.e.: if I can lift heavier in a particular exercise (w/correct form, of course), means I am gaining muscular weight. I look in the mirror, if it looks like I am also getting/remaining lean as I’m getting stronger in the gym. I’m right on track.

Quality of training, not Quantity is important. It takes alot for me to get sore after a workout. So, I use other ways to gauge my progress.

i’m a competitive powerlifter and being sore is something i don’t necessarily try for. if i’m sore, that may negatively affect my next workout. but i still get sore sometimes.

Sorness is not necessarily and indicatior of “if I did enough”. Too sore can be unsafe. Once I trashed my legs so bad, using the pedals driving the car was hard. It’s like the “more sweat, ya did more work” myth. Sorness is just one indicator among many of intensity.

Try EDT training. After 20 min of chins and Tri Extensions, (the last chins I have to jump up and let myself down SLOW) then you get to row and (I close grip bench press) for another 20 min! You should be very sore for a couple of days. I also sub squats for leg extension and do them first set on leg day. Good luck.
here’s the link: