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What if you're never sore...?

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Old 04-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #1
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Default What if you're never sore...?

A local friend is also working on losing some weight and working out, and we occasionally go to the gym together. It seems whenever we do, she will mention (complain ) for the next couple days that she is really sore.

I bought a bike last Thursday night, and was so excited I took it out for a ride first thing Friday morning, about 14.5 hours and then another 4.5 later in the afternoon. One of my other friends (who has ridden quite a bit in the past) was confident that by Sunday, I would be so sore I wouldn't want to move, much less get back on the bike. Well, Sunday morning I felt terrific so I went out again for about 19 - 20 miles.

So I don't get sore from weight lifting, I don't get sore from starting to go on longish bike rides, and I don't get sore even when I do long bouts of cardio in the gym that have me sweating and panting and working pretty much as hard as I can (heart rate staying around 150 - 170 for 45 - 60 minutes). But based on my friends' limited experiences, I wonder whether I am actually not pushing myself hard enough when I exercise? I like to believe that exercising regularly and properly is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my lack of negative exercising side effects, but if its likely that I'm under-exerting myself, I guess it would be better to know so that I can kick up the effort.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:04 AM   #2
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If you aren't sore from weightlifting I would raise the weights and make sure your form is correct. I'm no professional but when I'm not sore those are the two things I do!
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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I'm glad you asked this question. I don't get sore either. I may check this out with my PT, especially for the weights. She is very cautious about increasing mine.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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I don't get sore from cardio, but when I lift I usually experience some soreness, particularly when I switch up my routine or increase the weights. I think if you're lifting lower weights and/or you're not working your muscles to failure you probably won't get too sore. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're not getting a good workout though.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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I don't get sore from cardio, but when I lift I usually experience some soreness, particularly when I switch up my routine or increase the weights. I think if you're lifting lower weights and/or you're not working your muscles to failure you probably won't get too sore. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're not getting a good workout though.
Agreed. Cardio doesn't make me particularly sore (unless I'm doing something new that focuses on certain muscles, like swimming). It sounds like you might have some problems with the heaviness of your weights or your form. I'm definitely now as sore as I used to be now that I've been lifting for a bit but I still get sore the next day! I'm constantly trying to push myself and increase my weights, though (as long as I can maintain good form).

Also, what type of cardio are you doing? Are you doing static cardio or HIIT? If you're doing static cardio then your body can certainly get used to it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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I don't get sore either. Not on the treadmill, not with weights, not snowshoeing. I am pretty sure I do the right weight, at least that is what I heard/read. I do 15 reps of weight that are barely managable on the last 3-5 reps and at least three sets of them.
On the treadmill I might not push hard enough but snowshoeing wipes me. I am soooo exhausted after snowshoeing. Though never sore.

PS: I heard that soreness is a sign of ruptured muscle fibers (?) and actually not exactly what you should thrive for. Does anybody know more about this?
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
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i think a little soreness is healthy. there's a difference between a soreness resulting from proper stretching/exertion, and soreness from overuse/overworking/poor form while exercising/injury/etc. if you work out regularly and are never sore, it probably means that your body is too used to a routine, and maybe you need to up the ante a bit or switch up the types of workouts you use so that you are able to utilize new body parts.

please note: i'm not in any way/shape/form an expert with any formal training in exercise physiology, this is just my opinion based on what i've been told by yoga and other types exercise instructors.

cheers!
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
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As far as cardio goes, I generally use the interval setting on whatever machine I am using (usually bike or stair climber right now). When I use the treadmill I'm doing a modified C25K, so intervals of walking fast and jogging. The rowing machine would be too much of a pain for me to change the resistance frequently through the workout, but I do vary the speed some through my workout (on close to the highest resistance setting). I don't know if that technically qualifies as HIIT, but it's at least not static. I also get terribly bored doing one type of cardio for too long and usually switch from one activity to a different one after 20 minutes or so, but with no real break in between other than walking from one to the next.

I generally do 3 sets of 8 - 10 reps until I get shaky, and I up the weights I am using regularly. I try to make sure I have proper form, but... I've never worked with a personal trainer so who knows how close to correct I actually am?

Some exercises I feel put a lot more strain on the joints involved than the muscles they're supposed to be training, so if I'm having a particularly bad case of that on a given day I will generally do 3 sets of 15 reps on slightly lower weights. After having a torn ACL that refuses to get fixed after multiple surgeries, I'm paranoid about injuring my joints. :P

For that reason I'm not interested in really moving my weights up much faster than I have been, but maybe I will try shooting for 10 - 12 reps or a little more with the same sort of weight-increasing plan to see if that makes me feel the workouts a little more, but not in a necessarily bad way.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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I work out with a trainer who is not shy about pushing me... I don't get sore everytime- but I know and he knows I really pushed hard... Perhaps some people just don't get sore like others. Today I was sore because we did some heavy weights on a new machine yesterday...

I also stretch a lot after a really hard workout... perhaps that helps. I also thought that I tend to get more sore if I didn't drink all my water that day.... but I haven;t tested that hypothesis... I just started seeing a pattern on that.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:16 PM   #10
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Without seeing you work out, I'd question your perceived exertion level. I see many people in my gym ride the bike for an hour and read a mag and never even breath heavy. IMO, a waste of time.

Make sure your every work out kicks your own butt. Push yourself. Take a class and don't be the weakest one.

Still not sore? Maybe you have a high pain tolerance.

I'm pretty fit (but older) and I've never worked out where I'm at least sort of sore the next day. A good sore, not an injury sore.

My advice is to take just one day and REALLY push yourself. More than you ever normally would. See how you feel 24 hours later. Be sure to rest for 48 after and watch you caloric intake, making sure you fuel your bod for the next workout.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #11
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As a trainer, I recommend that you push yourself further than before, with a qualified trainer to keep an eye on you. Find a local bootcamp class, speak with the instructor before class starts, explaining that you don't get sore and want to push yourself, tell him/her your fitness level, and hit it!! If you aren't sore the next day or two, caulk it up to being very lucky in the genetics dept. I'm quite fit, and I always feel it after a bootcamp class.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #12
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Ok, I changed my mind. I think it depends on the workout type whether I get sore or not. I bought a $5 pilates DVD on the weekend and tried it out on Tuesday. I chose the beginner level and struggled even with the first three exercises. I couldn't do as many reps as the instructor and gave up after three exercises. Yesterday I was fine but today ....ouch... my abs are killing me! Pretty much my whole upper body is just SORE.
I didn't workout yesterday but I will try again today.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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There are going to be people who will tell you that you need to "push yourself." This is not necessarily the case. The goal of working out is not to be sore, and being sore does not necessarily mean you got a good workout. A good workout is one that a) gets your heart rate to an appropriate level and/or b) tests your endurance (weightlifting).
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #14
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There are going to be people who will tell you that you need to "push yourself." This is not necessarily the case. The goal of working out is not to be sore, and being sore does not necessarily mean you got a good workout. A good workout is one that a) gets your heart rate to an appropriate level and/or b) tests your endurance (weightlifting).
Kelly, without knowing her at all, I suggested pushing herself harder and while I agree that being sore is not a tell tale indication of whether or not your training hard enough, it can be an indication of perceived exertion level being higher than reality.

The reason I say this is simple observation. I work at the gym where I train. This means I'm there 20+ hours a week. I routinely see people train to where they're sweating and out of breath yet their routine is minimal intensity training. I see people quit long before their body "has to" quit.

I've also seen these same people in my classes. When "pushed", they get a higher intensity work out and they tell me, "this is more than I've ever done before. Now I know how much harder I can push myself".

So like I said, without knowing her at all, I took a general observation and made a general suggestion. I hope you (and she) understand.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #15
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No offense taken. Although, I am pretty confident about having a fairly realistic perception of my exertion level from my exercise. I do have music playing, but I always focus on my workout activities, not doing the zoning out watching TV / reading while using a machine type of thing. I do keep pretty close track of my heart rate while doing most cardio activities and make myself go harder if I feel like it's too low. (Get it moving up from ~ 150 to ~ 165 - 170)

I am a little curious about your description of "sweating and out of breath yet their routine is minimal intensity training"... What would you say is a good description of a satisfactory level of intensity then? And how can a person best judge whether they're pushing themselves the correct amount?

I probably do have a relatively high pain tolerance, but I think that's also distinct from having a high pain threshold...?
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