Many people believe that if you no longer feel sore after working out it means your workout was ineffective or you didn’t push yourself hard enough, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Just because you don’t feel muscle soreness as intensely as when you first began working out doesn’t mean the exercise is no longer benefiting you. There are a variety of reasons why you don’t feel sore anymore.
In this post I’m going to cover four of the main reasons why you no longer have aching muscles after your workout. But before we dive in, let’s remind ourselves why we might get achy muscles or delayed onset muscle soreness in the first place.
What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?
The pain you feel in your muscles 1 to 2 days after a workout is called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS arises from difficult workouts that cause micro-tears in the muscle. It’s the tears that cause the feeling of soreness. Don’t worry though; while it sounds like intentionally tearing your muscles would be a bad thing, these micro-tears cause the muscle to grow and become stronger.
Ok, let’s jump into the top 4 reasons you may no longer feel sore after working out…
1. Your body is adapting
Your body is an amazing machine and it adapts very rapidly to whatever challenges you put it through. So whether or not you feel DOMS post workout largely indicates how accustomed your muscles are to the intensity and type of exercise you were performing before the soreness began. It doesn’t necessarily indicate how successful your workout was. As your body continues to get stronger, and your muscles adapt to the new type of movements you’re doing, you won’t feel as sore afterwards.
2. You’re fuelling your body properly
If you’re combining working out with eating healthy food, your body may be reacting positively to the quality fuel you’re giving it. Did you know that food plays a role in how sore you’re feeling after a quality workout? For example, eating the right protein after you workout is key to helping your muscles repair and recover properly. So if you are focussing on eating well you may find that your muscles are getting what they need to help them repair and bounce back quicker.
3. You’re getting enough sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep does more than just make you feel like you have more energy the following day. Quality rest helps with releasing growth hormones, as well as tissue repair which both play an important role in restoring and repairing your muscles after a workout. If you’re not getting enough sleep you are more likely to be sore after a workout because your glycogen levels may have dropped a bit as a result and your body utilizes glycogen to contract your muscles.
4. You’re stretching pre and post workout
If you’re warming up and cooling down properly and you notice that you’re not feeling sore the next day then keep it up. Without stretching, you can damage your muscles or end up straining your joints. Stretching helps your muscles maintain their strength and flexibility and prevent you from overworking your muscles.
So there you have it, four reasons why you may no longer feel sore after a workout. So next time you workout and feel good the following day, don’t be fooled into thinking that your workout wasn’t effective.
I hope that helps bust another misconception around strength training. Remember, if you have any questions please email me. I love hearing from you and always answer your messages personally. Send me an email anytime at [email protected].