Muscle Soreness

How sore is… too sore?

When it comes to lifting (or really, anything we do in our training) — we get sore. It happens. While the mechanisms of soreness are for another post (I have multiple organized in my guides!). But how sore is too sore?

By now, we hopefully understand that soreness and a good workout are not one in the same. So being excessively sore after every workout we do is not ideal, or necessary.

But never being sore or not being sore at all is also not an ideal indicator of a solid workout. Our muscles will get sore especially when we do a new exercise, start a new program, new block or simply increase volume. Even week to week, we may feel the accumulation of the work we are doing.

Ideally though, this soreness is more mild. Maybe simply described as slight muscle fatigue or “I can tell I trained that muscle yesterday”

Our soreness peaks ~48-72 hours after workouts then dissipates. We should be able though, to recovery from workout to workout (see my recent post on 3 ways to know you’re training hard enough).

Training hard will sometimes make us sore.
Soreness isn’t a requirement for a good workout.
We should adapt with time and this should decrease as we adapt.
& this should stay relatively mild or be used to know when we maybe did a little “too much” than were trained for.

Hopefully this little visual scale here is helpful as a way to gauge this in a way you may understand!

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Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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Exercise Scientist, ultra runner, lifter, human.