Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good pain vs Bad pain

"No pain, no gain" is not necessarily true all the time. If you are constantly in pain all the time during workouts or are always sore something might be wrong. Generally most people will experience soreness within a day or two after a hard workout, a new exercise, or returning to exercise from an extended break.
Are you wondering what good pain is? Good pain can be a number of things. Now it may not be pleasurable pain. By "good" I mean that it is associated with normal soreness and sensations, and not "bad" as in you are hurting yourself, causing injury or aggravating a prior injury, as well as the possibility of an underlying condition.
Good pain can occur during a workout if you are experiencing what is often referred to as muscle burning. It generally occurs towards the end of your set. Fatigue is setting in and you may experience a burning sensation in your muscles. It is also normal to feel soreness or even tightness or stiffness in your muscles that may set in 24-48 hours after a workout. The normal soreness you may feel after a workout is not the same as the muscle burn and may feel more intense. Most people find that after the initial workout and soreness associated with it, they tend to not experience that amount of soreness on a regular basis. That is of course if they stay consistant with their workouts. If you are constantly feeling sore and stiff after workouts check with your doctor.
Bad pain can occur during a workout for multiple reasons. If you have a prior injury that is still healing, doing too much can cause increased inflammation and worsen the injury. Sharp pain, aching and or throbbing pain can indicate you are doing too much too fast. Learning to listen to your body is so important and can prevent delayed healing, future injuries, and permanent damage. Doing too much too soon is a common cause of "bad" pain. If you are experiencing any of the above pain and if anything ever feels excruciating you may be using too much weight, doing to many reps, or performing the exercise wrong. If you have a question about how and what to do it is always beneficial to ask a professional. If you find you experience soreness and pain after every workout you should seek the advice of your doctor.

Notes to think about:

  • You may not experience muscle burning "good pain" and that's ok.
  • If you find you experience soreness and/or pain after every workout you should seek the advice of your doctor.
  • If you think you are hurting yourself or feel as though a muscle is about to snap-You SHOULD stop what you are doing! Don't try to finish those last 3 reps or last 1/4 mile. Your body is telling you it has had enough!
  • Listen to your body! Remember if you get hurt from doing too much too soon it can slow your overall progress down. Be patient.
  • Progression should be gradual for best results.

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