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Why do you get sore after a workout?

Engaging in any new exercise program is going to result in soreness, and I think that is pretty universally understood. Where this idea starts to get problematic is after the first few weeks of a new workout program, people will think that their workouts aren’t effective because they are not getting sore afterward. Their soreness tapering off is actually a good thing. Your body is starting to get better at adapting to the workouts. Typically those high levels of soreness will actually be caused simply by the novelty of the new movement or exercise program. 

Think of the last time you did an activity for the first time in years; I recently skated for the first time in about 5 years and my thighs were sore for about 6 days. Does that mean that I produced a significant stimulus for my thighs to grow strong? No. I was simply sore because I hadn’t performed that mode of exercise/movement in years. 

The same is true of strength training, the first few times training in this fashion will absolutely produce soreness, but your body will adapt. Similarly, if you are not new to strength training but you try a new routine with different weights/protocols the soreness will also happen. Remember, it isn’t actually the level of soreness that determines the quality of the workout, it is oftentimes the level of intensity that you bring to that workout that will reap great results. So ask yourself, whether strength training or doing cardio, did I give 100% of my effort to that entire workout? If you can answer yes to that question, you can rest assured that you are getting the most out of your training.

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