Muscle Soreness

I’m really just throwing this out there as it came up in a discussion last night at my gym.

We all (probably) realize that muscle soreness isn’t an indicator of muscle growth, BUT, have you ever had certain muscle groups that just never seem to get sore?

This got me thinking, did those muscle groups respond in terms of growth just as well as other muscles groups? Possibly better? Horribly worse?

Were you able to ever isolate anything specifically about the way you trained said muscle groups that could have possibly contributed to the effects you experienced?

Wondering purely out of my own curiosity.

S

I have noticed that I got more growth in muscles that I get doms when I was a beginner and more in muscles that I didn’t get doms in once I was more experienced. I think this is due to an increased mind muscle connection with that muscle.

I do not think that a stronger mmc leads to more doms but rather that doms lead to a better mmc. Ever have doms and flex it randomly through the day just for fun? I know I do haha. I think this flexing of the muscle to “feel” the doms leads to a better mmc which in turn allows one to recruit it better which leads to better growth.

I do think that that has a limited effect though. I feel its more useful for beginners to get doms on a fairly significant scale to help devolop mmc. Training with doms also helps develop mmc i have found. However once a trainee has reached a certain training age he is able to recruit a muscle fairly damn well. Then I think the benefit of doms exhausts itself.

I think muscles that do not get doms (while having a good mmc) have adapted to recovering faster/better which leads to a capacity for more work which when performed will lead to more growth.

This post is very much bro-science and could very well be complete bullshit. Just some thoughts I had.

edited

Interesting topic. My biceps suck and I rarely get DOMS in them and if I do it is minor. On the other hand my best feature is probably my traps and I get DOMS in them like crazy.

Edit: And on a third hand, my chest is a lagging boyd part and I get DOMS in my pecs all the time…

My shoulders never get sore, except for the first time I tried Meadow’s lateral swings, haven’t been sore since.

I would never get doms in my glutes from squats. Started doing some activation work, kettle bell swings, GHRs and started getting doms + significant development. That effect faded into basic fatigue/knowing you did something after a while.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
We all (probably) realize that muscle soreness isn’t an indicator of muscle growth, BUT, have you ever had certain muscle groups that just never seem to get sore?
[/quote]
Yeah all of them lol. Training 6 days a week, hitting everything at least 2x per week it’s very, very rare that anything gets sore anymore.

I do have this to actually contribute to the discussion though! Back when I used to just do everything once a week, training like 4 days per week, I would get pretty darn sore in whatever I worked for the next 2 days after.

The one part of my body that seemed almost impossible to make sore however was my chest. Interestingly my chest has always been the aspect of my physique that grew the easiest.

[quote]MaazerSmiit wrote:
My shoulders never get sore, except for the first time I tried Meadow’s lateral swings, haven’t been sore since.[/quote]
x2 here. A long while ago, I did some ridiculous shoulder routine (I think it was 8x8 on four different exercises). I was so sore that I was seriously afraid I tore a rotator cuff or something. But other than that, I don’t really think my shoulders ever get much DOMS at all.

Not that they’re super-impressive or anything, but I’ve certainly seen them improve the last year or so, in spite of never really being sore. Contrast that with my quads and chest, which seem to get sore regularly (sometimes sore to the touch, which is often considered “overkill”) and both of which are still in need of improvement.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Were you able to ever isolate anything specifically about the way you trained said muscle groups that could have possibly contributed to the effects you experienced?[/quote]
Kinda-sorta along these lines, I think it’s worth paying attention to when any bodypart does get more sore than usual, as it’s usual an indication that something is happening. Generally when introducing a new exercise, set/rep scheme, or whatever. Or it might not even be something done on purpose.

The other week, after Larry Scott passed, I was inspired to do some two-dumbbell preacher curls (elbows in, hands wide). Needless to say, my bis were sore like crazy later that night and into the next few days. It was just a one-off session, so I certainly can’t say it caused extra growth, but the soreness was an indicator of an unfamiliar stress, and we know that it’s adapting to stresses that generally brings results, so I think it’ll be a keeper for a while.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Kinda-sorta along these lines, I think it’s worth paying attention to when any bodypart does get more sore than usual, as it’s usual an indication that something is happening. Generally when introducing a new exercise, set/rep scheme, or whatever. Or it might not even be something done on purpose.[/quote]

Oh I’ve noticed increased (or even just some when there’s usually no) soreness in certain areas when I’ve done things differently, but then there are other areas that just seem… well, immune.

I’ve always felt that my delts were a strength of my physique. Over the years, I’ve toyed with and tried all sorts of different approaches and methods, and while I can certainly acknowledge that I’ve gotten them to grow quite well, I can’t recall a single time when I’ve just rubbed my delts while smiling and thinking to myself “man my delts are sore today.”

S

Stu, a question if I may, about delts specifically. Mine have never been much to look at even though I’ve tried to focus on them a number of times.

So, was there anything or things that you can put your finger on which worked, or was it a lot of trial and error to find out what worked specifically for you?

Interesting topic. My shoulders rarely get sore, and they are my best body part (and OH press is probably my best lift).

Also, it takes a lot to get DOMS on my upper lats too.

Any type of ‘benching’ will fry my left chest and tris immediately afterwards. The right side on the other hand, the shoulder gets fried.

Needless to say, my left chest/tri is much more developed than the right. The right shoulder is also a lot ‘prettier’ than the left. Dang my tight right shoulder lol.

Anyway, if you were to ask me I would say that soreness is not the be all end all but it is certainly ONE of many indicators.

My delts are never sore like the next day, just during my training session. Abs are the same way as well for me, but I do know I use to do thousands of sit-ups (srs) back in early high school for track (i don’t know why exactly), so they just don’t really get sore anymore.

I will say it’s always nice to have my chest, triceps, and lat get sore, because those are BP’s I have poor MMC with so DOMS does at least indicate to me I’m doing something kind of right.

I am never sore. Ever. Sure, later in the day or the following day after a chest workout or leg workout I can flex my pecs / quads and feel a little cramp, but I never get DOMS anymore. I typically hit every muscle group 1x, sometimes 2x a week, very hard workouts, change things up (not the order of exercises, but actual exercise done) every workout, have great MMC. No soreness since I can remember, but I’m gaining size and strength steadily.

Some low back fatigue and joint pain is typical, but as long as I’m training regularly I don’t really get muscle soreness. But if I scale training back to 3 times a week, I do get it.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Stu, a question if I may, about delts specifically. Mine have never been much to look at even though I’ve tried to focus on them a number of times.

So, was there anything or things that you can put your finger on which worked, or was it a lot of trial and error to find out what worked specifically for you?
[/quote]

A nice little combination I found and kept for a number of years was to follow my sets of very strict, seated laterals with a few sets of heavy, slight cheating leaning away laterals. My thinking was to get whatever you could out of the muscle in the strictest sense, almost as a pre-exhaust. Afterward, the medial head is already pretty fatigued, you treat the follow up almost as a compound movement due to the nature of the extra ‘swing’ you can get on the concentric portion.

The thing about the nature of training, is that once you’re beyond the beginner stages, you can’t really count on soreness or even strength gains as any real indicator of hypertrophy. Sometimes, realizing that time is a huge factor, you just have to cover your bases to to speak, and ride things out without anything really saying “yep, this is gonna work.”

Sure I had tried plenty of different approaches, but at the end of the day, you should just ensure sure you made the muscle work damn hard (in any of a zillion combinations of exercises, sets, rep schemes… that you happen to like or ‘feel’) every time you train, make sure your diet is on point every day (not just on training days either!) for several months at a time, and make sure that you’re actually honest with yourself when you appraise your physique for indicators of progress (ie. clothing fit, photos, mirror…)

I can be honest enough to admit that most of my progress happened when I didn’t realize it. I just kept busting my ass because I enjoyed it, and luckily I didn’t obsess about the time frame issue or else I just might have gotten depressed with the shot of reality.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Stu, a question if I may, about delts specifically. Mine have never been much to look at even though I’ve tried to focus on them a number of times.

So, was there anything or things that you can put your finger on which worked, or was it a lot of trial and error to find out what worked specifically for you?
[/quote]

A nice little combination I found and kept for a number of years was to follow my sets of very strict, seated laterals with a few sets of heavy, slight cheating leaning away laterals. My thinking was to get whatever you could out of the muscle in the strictest sense, almost as a pre-exhaust. Afterward, the medial head is already pretty fatigued, you treat the follow up almost as a compound movement due to the nature of the extra ‘swing’ you can get on the concentric portion.

The thing about the nature of training, is that once you’re beyond the beginner stages, you can’t really count on soreness or even strength gains as any real indicator of hypertrophy. Sometimes, realizing that time is a huge factor, you just have to cover your bases to to speak, and ride things out without anything really saying “yep, this is gonna work.”

Sure I had tried plenty of different approaches, but at the end of the day, you should just ensure sure you made the muscle work damn hard (in any of a zillion combinations of exercises, sets, rep schemes… that you happen to like or ‘feel’) every time you train, make sure your diet is on point every day (not just on training days either!) for several months at a time, and make sure that you’re actually honest with yourself when you appraise your physique for indicators of progress (ie. clothing fit, photos, mirror…)

I can be honest enough to admit that most of my progress happened when I didn’t realize it. I just kept busting my ass because I enjoyed it, and luckily I didn’t obsess about the time frame issue or else I just might have gotten depressed with the shot of reality.

S[/quote]

Thanks! I guess that I probably never gave it enough time/consistency. I’d focus intensely for a coupe of months, become disenchanted and move on, come back to them again for a period, etc.

Never really incorporated them into a regular repertoire.

Two thoughts here:

(1) Soreness will be most pronounced from exercises where you can hit the muscles hard in a STRETCHED position. Examples are wide-stride lunges for glutes, exaggerate ROM BB rows/RDLs for lats, exaggerate ROM french presses/tri extensions for triceps. etc. Point is that if you don’t do these types of exercise for particular muscle groups then little to no soreness should be expected. Might explain why few people get soreness in their shoulders.

(2) While I perfectly understand that increasing the frequency of training a muscle group can reduce or eliminate muscle soreness (going from 1x to 2x or 3x/week), IME there comes a point when a new form of soreness happens when you go to the batshit crazy end of the frequency spectrum - I call it “perma-soreness” because it just doesn’t go away but you can still perform well.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
Two thoughts here:

(1) Soreness will be most pronounced from exercises where you can hit the muscles hard in a STRETCHED position. Examples are wide-stride lunges for glutes, exaggerate ROM BB rows/RDLs for lats, exaggerate ROM french presses/tri extensions for triceps. etc. Point is that if you don’t do these types of exercise for particular muscle groups then little to no soreness should be expected. Might explain why few people get soreness in their shoulders.

(2) While I perfectly understand that increasing the frequency of training a muscle group can reduce or eliminate muscle soreness (going from 1x to 2x or 3x/week), IME there comes a point when a new form of soreness happens when you go to the batshit crazy end of the frequency spectrum - I call it “perma-soreness” because it just doesn’t go away but you can still perform well.[/quote]

I agree with both of your statements. I have a question (for anyone really):

Are there exercises that really stretch out shoulders? Medial/rear delts in particular. I can’t really think of any.

Staystrong, try what I call Klokov presses—behind the neck barbell presses with a snatch grip. They stretch my shoulders pretty good, not to mention working the traps as well.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
Two thoughts here:

(1) Soreness will be most pronounced from exercises where you can hit the muscles hard in a STRETCHED position. Examples are wide-stride lunges for glutes, exaggerate ROM BB rows/RDLs for lats, exaggerate ROM french presses/tri extensions for triceps. etc. Point is that if you don’t do these types of exercise for particular muscle groups then little to no soreness should be expected. Might explain why few people get soreness in their shoulders.

(2) While I perfectly understand that increasing the frequency of training a muscle group can reduce or eliminate muscle soreness (going from 1x to 2x or 3x/week), IME there comes a point when a new form of soreness happens when you go to the batshit crazy end of the frequency spectrum - I call it “perma-soreness” because it just doesn’t go away but you can still perform well.[/quote]

I have number 2 almost constantly in my mid back. Probably because it gets hit with lots of frequency. Directly 2x a week and 2x indirectly from stabilizing squats and Deads.

I’ve found shoulders and arms rarely get doms. And the only way to get it is to do an insane stupid workout. But I’ve switched to frequency and medium volume for those and my arms are never sore and have never grown better