Help! I’m no longer sore after a workout

sore muscles, DOMS,

Help! I’m no longer sore after a workout

You know how it goes. You start a new regime and after the first session you are just so sore… but as the sessions progress, the total soreness start to fade. Until sometimes you’re not sore at all and you begin to wonder?… what does it mean if I’m not sore after a workout?

I get it – many people associate sore muscles with a good workout. So does it mean that if you’re not sore – it wasn’t a good workout?

Not at all!

First of all, why do we get sore?

Soreness is caused by numerous micro-tears caused by extending a muscle more than it is generally used to. This is necessary to help us to move, lift weights and so on. This can then present as a dull, achy pain or even stiffness in your muscles 12-72 hours later. Or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). All the group training members will have had that first week when they couldn’t sit down to go to the loo. Or walk down the stairs… That’s the pain that I’m talking about! Haha!

You get it a lot when you’re not used to the exercise programme but as you continue exercising you get stronger… So you’ll likely find that the frequency (how often you experience DOMS) and severity (how “bad” it is) of this post-workout soreness might begin to decrease.

This is because your body can begin to “get used to” that style of training, meaning that there might be fewer micro tears, which can result in less soreness and a faster recovery. In other words, this is a sign that your body is adapting and changing, you’re getting fitter and stronger. This is a good thing!

So while DOMS might make you FEEL like you’ve had a good workout, it’s important to remember that not being sore the day after does not mean that your workout was useless or a waste of your time.

So how do you know if a workout is ‘effective’?

The short answer is tracking. As you will by now know, I’m a firm believer in tracking the details of a session: weights lifted, runs ran, reps performed. This is THE best way to understand if you are progressing. I also track mood, sleep, weather, but one might say I’m mildly obsessed!

There are other ways too: track outcomes such as how you look and feel, how your clothes feel and so on.

So in a nutshell don’t worry if you’re not getting bad DOMs every time. The upside is that you’ll be able to train again, sooner. Which is probably better for your overall goals of better health and fitness. Because as we know, this is a long term venture, and the key to success is consistency!


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