The Myth:

No pain, no gain:
This is easily the most popular catch phrase to mislead a world since long time. Especially by old school bodybuilders and athletes.

The truth:

Regardless of the way bodybuilders and athletes train, exercise does not have to hurt you each time you train for other population.

How to minimize/reduce Pain/Soreness:

  • When you first start an exercise program, it’s normal to feel some discomfort for several days after your workouts. Starting at an easy level and slowly progressing to a higher intensity can avert much of this pain.
  • Training too hard can be counterproductive, as it may lead to overtraining. Nicholas DeNubile, M.D., clinical assistant professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and orthopedic consultant to the Philadelphia says, “When you over train, your body (muscle fibers) actually breaks down.” And gives soreness.
  • To minimize soreness, warm up (at least 10 minutes) before your workouts and cool down and stretch afterward. You may use foam roller to minimize the soreness.
  • Stay in tune to the signs your body is sending. DeNubile says, “You must learn the difference between slight muscle soreness from a good workout and the soreness that may be a warning sign of an injury.”

Occasional muscle pain, especially if it’s bilateral (on both sides of the body), is normal, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that you had a good workout. This may suggest that your body is new to this stimulus or intensity and will get use to it in couple of days.

Change the stimulus or intensity slowly and gradually to minimize the soreness/pain.

Bottom line:

“No pain, no gain” only applies to exceptional situations and sometimes in competitive sports. While it is generally true that very hard training is needed in most areas to achieve big training gains, pain should always be avoided. It is important that you listen to your body and not ignore signals like pain. If you give yourself the time you need to recover, you will be able to enjoy working out without pain for a long time to come.