A couple weeks ago, a popular fitness influencer took to her 3M Instagram followers suggesting that you aren't training hard enough if you're not sore the next day.
As you can imagine, that rubbed me and many other coaches the wrong way, so let's talk about why.
Besides the fact that an influencer is spreading misinformation... muscle soreness is correlated to muscle growth. But as we know, causation and correlation are two different things.
Muscle soreness is common when you are new to fitness, start a new program, and increase intensity or volume of a workout. These are all "normal" experiences of soreness leading to muscular adaptation. Soreness in this arena typically lasts for 1-2 days.
Muscle soreness that lasts for more than a couple days could be seen as unproductive and could be a result of under-recovery and/or training too intensely.
Things to consider:
- Any training program can make you sore. Especially one's that believe in "muscle confusion" and don't train the same/similar movements week-after-week. This is another reason why soreness does not equal a good workout.
- As your fitness age increases, your frequency of muscle soreness will decrease. Unfortunately, the newbie gainz don't last forever.
- The purpose of each workout isn't to be sore; it's to continually improve and become consistent in one or more areas: strength, endurance, mobility, speed, and/or efficiency.
TLDR: Muscle soreness does not equate to a good workout, although some muscle soreness is normal.
If you take anything away from this email, don't believe fitness information from influencers.