T Nation

Sore is Good?


i was told the other day that when i was sore i should actually lift that group one more time to really stimulate while still sore i donno i think you need to wait til u heal any suggestions?


I'd suggest using the search engine - we just had a thread on this... and I'm sure it has been discussed many times.


dont think about irrelevant stuff like soreness. if it comes then enjoy it while it lasts.
just lift if you can.


I agree with Vroom seems a lot today that scary.

anyhow the short version. Soreness it happens but dont seek it. Its a byproduct that well actually you want to avoid. You ant to not be sore to be able to perform and progress.

But yes working through minor soreness is OK and soon you will adapt. Your work capacity will increase as will your rate of recovery. MINOR SORENESS.

The onyl true gauge is progress toward your goals be it strength, size, weight loss/gaind and any mix of the above.



Huh? I wasnt on that thread that Vrooms speaks of but are you really saying to avoid soreness? The soreness you are feeling is the broken down muscle tissue and fibers repairing themselves and with the intake of foods/supps etc growing stronger and bigger. Thats BB 101. Maybe I misread your post and you meant to say dont lift again till the soreness has gone away. I think it is ok to work through minor soreness but if you are still feeling sore, that means your body is still growing and recovering so why break it down again?



DO you actually know what is causing the soreness? like at a molecular level?

I dont know and people never seem to agree on what is specifically causing the soreness. It would be nice to know.

some say lactic acid i think, while others say lactic acid doesnt stay for so long.


I have read and heard conflicting things about it. Muscle soreness is not caused by lactic acid, as many people believe. I do not claim to be an expert by any means on this subject but as I understand it, muscle soreness is caused by microtrauma to the muscle fibers. This causes calcium molecule leakage from the muscle fibers (as well as an accumulation of histamines, potassium, prostaglandins and local edema). The sensation of pain and soreness comes due to the pressure of localized edema (fluid retention) on nerve endings, not by the muscle damage itself. It is important to state that muscle sorenss CAN be an indication of growth so after reading up on this a bit more I must revise my earlier more blanket statement.

If you do a google search on this, you should come across this information and hopefully more of it.



Muscle soreness (DOMS) is due to the inflammatory effect of exercise. As the muscle fibers are damaged (more so with eccentric exercise) the body reacts with an immune response, including the recruitment of macrophages and neutrophils to the site of damaged muscle fibers. This immune response is the cause of inflammation, altering the local fluid balance.

Macrophages also increase the sensitization of certain pain receptors, which coupled with the increase in fluid and thus the increased pressure on the pain receptors, contributes to pain in the muscle. Some current research is pointing to DOMS being associated with inflammtion and not with muscle damage, further supporting this theory that DOMS is inflammation-dependent.

As far as lactic acid, if it were to cause DOMS then the soreness would be greater after exercise with a higher metabolic cost, such as concentric activity. Also, DOMS peaks after 24-72 hours. Lactate concentrations return to resting levels within 60 minutes. Thus, lactic acid is not the cuase of prolonged muscle soreness.



Great Explanation James! I was about to pull out Biomechanics and Physiology books! Right on the Money.

And the T-Nation news letter just came out and this was discussed in it. They said if your sore, rest (Newsletter Exclusive: 7 Guidelines On Program Design
by Charles Staley)


I will never work a body part out again while it's still sore. If it is sore a day or two after workout, to me that means it was worked well and needs its time to recover. My exception to this rule is abs. I will work them a little sore.


Well what I was saying is it happens. Its a by product and should not be a goal. The goal should be to be LESS sore and heal faster and to make progress. Many times you will workout and not be sore. So dont be mistaken by thinking you have to be limping the next day to think you had a good workout.

Then I said sure workout through light/moderate soreness, mainly when newer. They will adapt. As training age goes up their recovery etc will get better.


Look up the word "frequency" and how it applies to training.