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If after going to the gym, my muscles don't hurt does it mean my workout was ineffective?

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Exercise is best way to build muscle. For people who want to build muscle fast in weeks but you don't have time to go gym or you don't want to spend money on an expensive membership or you've had a history of injuries, you should check this infographic

The muscle soreness that is experienced after a high intensity workouts is known as DOMS Syndrome - Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. But it is not compulsory to have muscle soreness after every workout. As long as one does high intensity workout - rep range being 6-8 rep max, and there is going to be sure increase in EPOC - increased oxygen uptake for bringing body back to homeostatic level.

How people could make recommendations about ""switching up your program"" this early in the process is beyond me.....we don't have enough information to make that kind of recommendation.

 

First, what should be addressed is that muscle soreness in and of itself is not necessary if you're looking to lose weight. Everyone reacts differently to stimulus, but in my experience you should absolutely have some noticeable tightness/soreness from an effective workout that will hit ~24-48 hours after the session - but feeling like DEATH after every workout can be just as counter-productive.

 

Secondly, there could be multiple reasons why you aren't getting sore. Perhaps your workout is so varied that you aren't doing enough for each muscle to get sore, or perhaps the weights that you're using are too light for you. I was a trainer for years and most people suffer from both of those issues - they go to the gym and just use the handful of exercises they are comfortable with and don't really push themselves hard enough. If you're doing 10-15 reps+ for every set, and you're never reaching the point of ""form failure"", you're not going to get the benefits you're looking for. More on that later...

 

While professional opinions can be mixed as to which is better, personally for someone new to exercising I think breaking up the muscle groups is better than hitting full body. By splitting the muscle groups you're allowing yourself to specify your training, get more comfortable with machines for each body group, you're going to get a better mind/muscle connection, and you won't be working sore muscles over and over.

 

For someone going to the gym 4X/week, a good split would be:

 

Day 1 - Back.

 

Day 2 - Chest and Shoulders

 

Day 3 - Legs

 

Day 4 - Arms

 

I recommend working out for 30-45 minutes at least with weight training, and then proceeding to cardio.

 

You should be training to ""form failure"" - this means you continue to lift the weight until your form becomes impaired, not until you absolutely hit the wall. Going too hard is very stressful to your central nervous system and also puts you in a position where you're more likely to become injured.

 

As a ""new lifter"" you should be looking at keeping most of your sets between 8-12 repetitions. This will allow you to become more comfortable with the form for the exercises - but after time you would want to get some sets in at higher weight/lower rep schemes such as 4-6 reps. Personally I never recommend nor do I practice doing ""1 Rep Max"" sets often - if I'm feeling good I may add some weight, but training this way too regularly can be counter-productive.

 

Most people don't workout hard enough. If you want any type of visual difference, you need to PUSH your body! YOU WILL NOT GET TOO BIG! Natural bodybuilders spend YEARS doing everything they can to add muscle, and they still can't grow as quickly as they want to! If you're not losing weight, do not make the ""I'm adding muscle"" excuse!

 

Your nutrition will play the largest role in whether or not you will be successful. YOU CANNOT OUT-TRAIN A BAD DIET!

 

Cut the carbs back with your carbohydrates coming mostly from vegetables and some fruit (1-2 servings, if you're looking to cut bodyfat eating more than that isn't necessary).

 

Up your protein sources, including some after the workout. You could use Whey protein if you're able to purchase that on top of quality foods.

 

Ditch the fats that you know you shouldn't have - cut back on cheese, no fried foods etc!

 

For most people, a 600 calorie workout can be TOUGH! However, if you're eating properly you could potentially burn 600 calories every single day through nutrition, and the workouts just become a bonus. For example, if it costs your body 2300 calories/day to operate and you only eat 1800, you will be burning 500 calories every day and 3000 every week. Once you add workouts on top of that, you're getting the results you want!

 

I always tell people - if you're not already losing some weight every week from your diet, adding a few workouts WILL NOT get you much better results.

No, the soreness after a workout has been shown to be a poor indicator of effectiveness. A good way to get sore would be to change the movements you did session to session. This will mean you progress very slowly in terms of strength but will mean you’re really sore after each session.

 

Also, the train until you’re sick mindset is counterproductive. Ok, go balls to the wall occasionally, but generally speaking look to stimulate the muscle, not annihilate it

Not really!

 

You can get an excellent workout done and still feel no pain at all the next day. You don't need to change your workout just because ""it stopped hurting the day after"".

 

The pain you feel after training a muscle with a new or harder stimulus is connected with INFLAMMATION in that tissue, not hypertrophy per se.

 

Inflammtion is part of hypertrophy, but YOU CAN DEFINATELY have hypertrophy without having unbearable pain the day after due to several other signals your cells go through during your workout session.

 

Just keep in mind that you must follow the 5 principles of training: Overload, Recovery, Specificity, Reversibility and Periodization.

 

You don't need to change your workouts when it stops hurting, otherwise workouts routine would be made for 10-15 days periods (and that's NOT the case).

There are several things that happen when you work out :

 

1) Neuromuscular activation improves - your nervous system is trained to make the muscles exert the maximum force possible (which is much much higher than you would think)

 

2) Muscle fibers tear and are rebuilt with stronger replacements

 

3) Muscle tissue is added, and existing muscles get bulkier (sacroplasmic hypertrophy)

 

4) Cardiovascular system gets trained.

 

Different types of workouts do any or all of these with different efficiency - it is unlikely that you can improve everything at once.

 

(2) causes soreness, but it doesn't mean you cannot improve without being sore.

Progress is gained by incremental loading, keep increasing intensity or load as you go on.

 

Lift heavier or run further, or do more repetitions of bodyweight exercises or do more difficult variations of them.

 

As long as you are measurably increasing ability, there is no need to worry if you are not sore muscled - Microtears and rebuilding can happen without you feeling sore.

 

If you do high load weight training, you would be doing very few reps and very few sets, not likely to result in soreness.

You don’t have to limp around after exercising to be assured you had a fruitful workout. Pain does not necessarily equal gain.

 

As a teenager, I assessed my workouts based on my subsequent level of soreness. I assumed if I was gingerly walking around the day after a tough training session, I was getting bigger and stronger. I was mistaken. From muscleevo.net:

 

Exercise can cause damage to muscle fibers. But there’s very little evidence to show that muscle damage is a requirement for muscle growth.

 

Here’s how one group of researchers summarized the results of a study designed to test the theory that detectable damage is a necessary precursor for muscle growth [8]:

 

One group of participants experienced an initial bout of damaging exercise and the other had no detrimental symptoms of damage. Despite the different initial conditions, both groups experienced the same net increase in muscle size and strength. These results suggest that it is the total work done during training that impacts the final muscle remodeling, apparently independent of an initial triggering event.

 

So there is no logical reason to seek out that burn. It’s fool’s gold. From CNN:

 

Studies have shown that soreness itself (using a scale from 0 to 10 to assess the level of soreness) is poorly correlated as an indicator of muscle adaptation and growth. There are many factors that influence how DOMS presents itself in individuals.

 

“There is great variability, even between people with similar genetics and even among highly-trained lifters [and athletes],” he says. So while comparing notes (and commiserating) is all part of the process, soreness and DOMS isn’t the best gauge of how effective your workout was or who’s in better shape.

 

Perfect. We can avoid soreness, so why not just do that?

 

Particularly for beginners, I recommend a substantial ramp up phase to weight training. Start with little weight and very low reps. For example, if the 5×5 is the goal, start with one or two reps and incrementally build each workout from there until you reach 5 sets and 5 reps. You’ll avoid the agony of extreme soreness, which many folks use as a convenient excuse to not workout. “I should let my body recover,” they tell themselves. From popsugar.com:

 

Being too sore to workout may be a popular excuse, but it’s not always a good one. If you’re too sore from a rigorous hike, spend the next day working on your abs or arms. Or try another aerobic exercise or yoga — cardio and stretching can both help soothe your muscles.

 

Taking a walk or a swim on days that you’re sore is good behavior, but optimize to not get sore in the first place.

 

Nowadays, I rarely get sore. The 5×5 builds in ample recovery time, and my body appreciates it by being perpetually ready for the next workout. Unlike in years past, I’m able to separate a productive workout from a “killer” one. We’ve talked about this in past posts, but now seems like a logical time for a reminder. Muscle growth occurs through incrementally adding weight over time, not from getting sore.

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