Very Sore

Lifting weights whether for bodybuilding, toning, or just for general fitness.

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Soreness

Postby VeganEssentials » Wed May 19, 2004 6:09 am

I do follow the "less is more" school of thought when it comes to soreness. When I did more sets and reps (averaging 10-12 sets per major body part, 8-12 reps per set) I experienced soreness after every workout, but progression was minimal. Now I only feel sore after a particularly brutal workout or when I do a lift that isn't a normal part of my routine, and I'm experiencing the greatest gains I've ever had (almost rivaling those of my first 2 years of lifting - a tough thing to accomplish!)

I think I used this as an example of soreness before, but for those who are Simpsons fans, anyone remember the "Powersauce Bar" episode where Homer starts working out? First time he goes to the gym he gets on a machine (benching machine, if I'm not mistaken) lays so far up that the weight stack crashes down on his head with every rep, and states "My head's sure going to be sore tomorrow!" The equation of soreness being an indicator of progression of gain in muscular size and strength is definitely outdated, as is shown by the incredible progress of those who do otherwise and get fantastic results. But, here's the usual catch - it is appealing to those that need a sense of physical accomplishment to justify that something is changing within their body, and soreness is the surest indicator that a muscle has been taxed. Getting beyond the belief that this is always indicitave of progress isn't easy - I know it took me 4 years to get to that point, and my lifting partner told me for ages that I'd probably fare better if I cut my volume in half for a bit (but who was I to argue with DOMS for days afterward if it felt like I was working myself to the limit?) It never occurred to me why I was adding only 2.5 - 5 lbs. per month to my lifts at the time when I should have been gaining the most, but in retrospect it all becomes clear to me.

Just because someone may only do 3-5 sets of 1-5 reps per body part certainly does not mean that they're not working hard - when I'm done with lifting (usually in 40 minutes or less) I know I put in 100% of what I had in me. Max effort for work in lower volume is far superior to doing 80% of your full effort on twice the volume, unless you're exercising purely to burn calories and spend time in the gym and have strength and size be purely incidental. Use your time wisely and don't be afraid to experiment with what you might have once believed is not effective - you might just be surprised!

Ryan
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I am sore too.

Postby jillbren » Wed May 19, 2004 11:33 pm

I have a trainer and lift for an hour 3 x per week (full body work out). Since I started about 5 weeks ago, I have been sore every day!!!!

My trainer said that it will go away over time, but that I am lucky bc I can tell I am working hard. He said some people never get sore and it is hard for them to know how hard they are working.

I am going to cut back to twice a week bc. I am getting sick of my gluts, quads huting every time I sit down or stand up.

But, being sore isn't unhealthy.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.
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Soreness

Postby VeganEssentials » Thu May 20, 2004 7:13 am

Being sore isn't necessarily unhealthy, but soreness most likely should decrease considerably after a few weeks from the time you begin training. I would take the comment about being lucky to be sore as a sign of "working hard" with a grain of salt - more often than not (unfortunately), trainers do rely on keeping a client's interest and money through offering anything that they can to make it seem that the person being trained is making progress in any way possible. This is their lifeblood, so always keep this in mind. There are a lot of good trainers out there, but unfortunately I see far more that are concerned with keeping someone on the line to keep a steady pay flow moreso than keeping their clients progressing. I could start a whole new thread with my trainer gripes, but I'll leave that for another time!

One thing to ask your trainer is this in regard to justifying the position of soreness being the indicator of how hard one works - ask why you'll almost certainly end up far more sore from doing 10 sets of 20 reps of curls with 30% of your max than you will with 5 sets of your 5 rep max (forcing the last rep on each set with all you have), even though the lower rep lower set scheme requires far more effort to accomplish. Usually this shoots a good sized hole in the theories of those who believe volume is the key to quality lifting. Definitely a question worth asking!

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