There was a time when soreness ruled king in my world. It was the measure of a great workout and I thought it was a necessary occurrence to see any kind of lasting results.
I remember days when I could barely walk up steps or lie on my back without feeling the burn of what I thought was a build up of lactic acid. I glorified in the thought of “tissue damage” because as a bodybuilder the breakdown meant rebuilding and muscle growth.
I followed every periodization scheme known to man. As a matter of fact, I became a periodization “specialist”, writing plans for others wanting to reproduce the results I had. I found that soreness was systematic. Do something to your body so drastically beyond its limits that you throw it a curve ball and boom! You’re wobbling for the next three days.
So what is it?
DOMS – (delayed onset muscle soreness) is “fundamentally the result of ruptures within the muscle” also called muscle damage and peaks between 24 and 72 hours.
Some research even points to the idea of soreness as a protective mechanism to prevent movement. Now the idea of moving to create soreness suddenly becomes less appealing.
Soreness That Is Beyond Limits
You know, the kind that hurts (pain).
I knew that this debilitating soreness couldn’t possible be positive, and after putting it to the test I was validated.
Here are a few reasons why soreness as feedback for me was limiting
- It was an indicator that I pushed beyond my limits
- It was SLOW feedback. It took a day or two feel “results”. Why use this as feedback when I can get it much faster?
- It in no way indicated a particular exercise tested well for my body
- It took me longer to recover therefore keeping me from moving how I wanted
- It actually made me less adaptable by limiting my potential movements
Fortunately I can say that now I am rarely sore. If I am it’s so subtle that it goes nearly unnoticed. Interestingly enough though my results and recovery seem to come easier than the days of old and I was much younger then.
So what’s my current secret to continued results without soreness?
A method that I can use to determine which movements are best for my body and goals at every single workout. It allows me to work within my body’s limits and move in a direction that it sees fit on any given day. It’s not based on any periodization program or a thought up workout but what my body needs in that moment.
Using tested exercise to determine every single workout has giving me instant feedback that I otherwise would have missed. It’s allowed me to see why in the past my results were always two steps forward/ one step back.
It’s also made me realize that everything is subject to testing, everything.
Where To Start?
1) Learn how to move within your limits
2) Learn how to test
It’s as simple as that. Put it in motion and see if you come up with the same results. It’s quite possible it will make you better too.
If you’re interested in learning more about the testing process feel free to contact me: