No Pain, No Gain...True or False?
A question I am often asked is "Do I have to feel stiff and sore after a workout to know that it's working?"
Absolutely not! Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually takes place 24 to 72 hours after exercise. This is a very common response to any physical activity that may be new to you, or more intense exercise than normal. It is thought that the soreness is due to microscopic tears in the muscle fibres and that inflammation is a result of the activity.
However, if you are sore after every workout, then you're heading for injury and more. Your body normally adapts to a new form of exericse after just a few sessions. If you increase the intensity or weight, or introduce a new move, you're going to be sore the next day. That's fine. But when you're constantly stiff it means there is too much lactic acid build-up. The result is that the body will not burn fat efficiently as it is trying to get rid of the lactic acid instead.
To avoid this constant stiffness, always stretch thoroughly after a workout. Be sure to add variety and progression to your routine, which will cause temporary stiffness but is necessary for increased strength and fitness gains.