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Muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness from working out is one of the most misunderstood and debated elements of training. Are you supposed to be sore after your workouts or is it something that is getting in the way of your muscle growth. In this video, I discuss the most effective way to create muscle soreness in your workouts and more importantly help you to determine whether this is something you should be chasing in order to grow.
We start with the concept of muscle soreness itself. Generally, this is something you should feel within the belly of the muscle and not necessarily only at the tendinous attachments of the muscle across a joint or joints. When your tendons are sore and achy and the muscles themselves are not, this is a pretty good indication that you did not necessarily do a good thing for your body with your training. You may have inflamed the joint rather than positively stimulated the muscle.
That said, assuming you have properly targeted the muscle you have to understand what you did to cause this. Eccentric or negative training is the most effective way to elicit muscle soreness and post workout soreness because of the mechanical damage you are doing to the muscle when you use it. For instance, concentric training is the portion of the rep in which you place tension on a muscle but do so while shortening the muscle.
With an absence of elongation of the muscle (combined with the tension) you are omitting a large contributor to muscle soreness and breakdown. In fact, with a complete absence of eccentric load, it is feasible that you could perform a workout on back to back days for the same muscle group because the positive focused workout will not leave you too sore to do the workout on the next day.
Understanding this however is a key to maximizing your muscle growth. You cannot just swing the weights around and hope to get enough mechanical stress and damage that would cause your muscles to have to grow back bigger and stronger. You have to slow down your eccentric contraction on every rep if you want to overload the muscles and subject them to a stimulus strong enough to cause reactive muscle growth.
That being said, even if you do perform your workout in the proper fashion and are left feeling sore the next day or days, if you do not support your efforts in the gym with a dedication to proper nutrition, supplementation and rest or sleep you will not grow. It’s as simple as that. Rest and recovery are paramount to a natural lifters ability to grow muscles from their workouts. If you are not paying attention to these aspects of your training and day (often accountable to up to 23 hours in a day) you will not see the muscle growth you should be seeing from your workouts.
For a complete step by step workout and nutrition plan that puts the science back in strength and helps you to build muscle faster than any other program, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start training like an athlete and prioritize your recovery as you train like a beast to start seeing your best results ever.
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