When it comes to training, everyone has heard of the expression “No pain, no gain”, but is pain really part of training? As in, do you really have to experience pain in order to improve? As a general rule, pain is a signal from the body telling you that something is different and it hurts. Of course, there is not just one kind of pain: you can differentiate between “good” and “bad” pain.
Two words: muscle ache. After a difficult workout it is normal for the muscles that were worked during your training to start pulling. This can also be the case the morning after a workout. With this pain your body is saying: “That was a brilliant workout”. It is important, though, that only the used muscles ache slightly. If your back hurts after a set of sit-ups then take it as a warning signal – you should stop doing the exercise or change the way you are doing it.
On the whole, aching muscles lasting up to 48 hours after a workout can be counted as “good” pain.
This is where we need to be a little more careful with the saying “No pain, no gain”. Above all, strong pain that only occurs in specific parts of the body could be a sign of a worsening injury. This can often lead to pulled muscles or damage to the joints. At first though, it can mean that your muscle has suddenly shut down during an exercise due to excessive strain, such as during weight lifting. The best thing to do is to either interrupt the workout or at least carry on, but with a different exercise until your muscle has had the chance to recover.
Joint pain can occur in a similar way. In any case, it is strongly advised to stop training straight away if you get sudden pain in your joints or back. These complaints can be a sign that your muscles cannot take the strain and, as a consequence, your joints are taking the pressure instead.
When you suffer from increasing “bad” pain, no matter where it is, take it as a sign from your body that you need to stop what you are doing.
In conclusion then, it is not good to say “No pain, no gain” and expect any kind of pain to be part of your workout. It is important to listen to your body and act on what it tells you. #Iwantsoremuscles