Contrary to what many people believe, lack of post-workout soreness does not necessarily indicate that your workout program is not effective.
This guide contains a must-read detailed explanation as to why you may not be sore after that energy sapping workout.
Before knowing why you are not experiencing soreness after workouts, it is crucial to understand what post-workout soreness means, as well as its cause.
During an exercise, your muscles contract and expand continuously to enable you move and lift weights. This is normal.
However, when the intensity of the exercise forces your muscles to expand beyond their usual range, micro tears occur in the muscles, causing you to experience dullness, stiffness, or achy pain.
This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.
While on a workout plan, you may experience DOMS quite often and this may happen after every workout session, especially, during the initial couple of weeks. Remember, your muscles are adapting to a new activity; hence, they must respond.
What Does Lack of Post-Workout Soreness Mean?
1. Adaptation to Exercise
The frequency and severity of soreness you experience after your workout tends to reduce gradually with time. This is because your muscles get used to the expansions and contractions. With time, the micro tears reduce and may not occur at all.
Many people are tempted to think that when soreness fails to occurs, then their exercise program is ineffective. This is not always the case. In fact, when soreness subsides and disappears, it is a sign that you are getting stronger and fitter.
This is healthy for your body, and who does not admire having a healthy body? We need to be honest here; would you continue with your exercise program if it results in severe soreness after each workout session? The most probable answer is no.
Performing the same exercises regularly reduces and eventually eliminates soreness completely. However, you may experience muscle soreness if you attempt a new exercise that necessitates using your muscles in a way that differs from the usual routine. Extending the time frame of your exercise session may also strain your muscles a little further, causing soreness.
Although muscles soreness may be a sign of effective workout, you need to know that failure to experience soreness after workouts does not mean your workout routine is not working for you. In the absence of soreness, you may know that your exercise program is working for you if your fitness and strength increases with regular exercises.
For instance, are you able to perform more push-ups than you initially did? Are you experiencing more muscle toning? Are you able to lift heavier weights than you initially did? If your answer to these questions is in the affirmative, then your program is producing good results.
On the other hand, if your answer to most of the questions is no, then it is time to come up with other methods of challenging your body, including changing your exercise routine. Remember, the results of what you do motivate you to continue.
2. Genetic Component
Lack of soreness following an exercise can be due to genetic factors, which affect how sensitive your muscles are to strains or pressure. Based on genetic components, you can either be a high-responder, low-responder, or no-responder.
Being a low-responder means your muscles respond to pressure and strains with very little accuracy. The muscles of high-responders, on the other hand, respond to workouts more accurately than the other groups of people. No-responders respond to muscle strains poorly and may fail to experience soreness at all.
Although the ability of your muscles to respond to soreness is essentially natural, it is crucial to know your genetic component category. This helps to understand why you experience or fail to experience soreness after workouts.
3. Intensity of Your Workout
How light or heavy are your workouts? Effective workouts should be able to challenge your body. They should be able to exert pressure on the muscles beyond the normal pressure of your daily activities.
This enables the muscles to shorten and lengthen more than they usually do. This may result in fatigue, which can also mean that your exercises are working for you. Fatigue occurs when lactic acid builds in your muscles during an intense activity. This explains why you run out of energy when you are performing those pushups or sit-ups. If you continue exercising after experiencing fatigue, you are likely to strain your muscles beyond limit and this may result in post-workout soreness.
If you only perform light physical exercises that do not involve a lot of energy, you may only experience little fatigue. Additionally, your chances of experiencing soreness after the workout are very minimal because the exercise has not adequately strained your muscles to warrant such soreness. Hence, failure to experience soreness following a workout may be a warning sign that your exercise program is too light to produce any desired results for you.
You can know that your exercise program has failed if your muscles are not toning, and if your strength does not increase with continued exercises. You can address this problem by shifting to more engaging exercises. For instance, if your exercises involve riding or swimming, you may opt for running and weight lifting.
However, it is crucial to remember that with regular physical exercises, your body gradually becomes better equipped to respond to fatigue and soreness. This is because the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your tissues during exercise tends to reduce with regular exercises. Also, small muscles tears disappear with more workouts.
In a nutshell, failure to experience soreness following a workout can be due to various other reasons not related to the effectiveness of your exercise program. It may indicate that your body has fully adapted to your workout routine, and it is growing fitter and stronger. It can also be due to genetic factors, which are beyond your control. However, if the situation is due to a light exercise plan, you can easily address it by increasing the intensity of your workouts.