Stop Chasing Soreness

One of the biggest myths in fitness is that if you didn’t get sore, you didn’t get a good workout.

No pain, no gain.

For the longest time, it was my only metric. If I wasn’t sore, I didn’t work hard enough.

Now, I know that’s bullshit.

On my current program, 10 Weeks to Beach, I run an upper/lower split. It’s a 4 day workout plan with an optional 5th upper body “pump” day (which I obviously do every week). Among other things, one of the reasons I do this is so that no one body part is too sore to function.

I’ve done the programs where my chest is so sore that I can’t spread my arms out wide. Where my biceps are so sore that I can’t extend my arms. And, of course, where my legs are so sore I can’t sit on the toilet.

I’m not saying soreness is always a bad thing (in a weird, masochistic sort of way I even kind of enjoy it). And I’m definitely not saying that I’m never sore. Some days, I still have trouble getting on and off that toilet.

What I am saying is that soreness is NOT necessary.

When my dad calls and says that he has a tee time the next morning, I want to be able to go out there and swing a golf club.

When my buddy tells me to meet him at the gym in an hour to play ball, I want to be able to shoot.

When I randomly jump into a boxing or jiu jitsu class at Paradigm, I want to be able to perform.

When my daughter wants to run around in the backyard, I want to be able to keep up.

I can’t do any of that if I’m too sore to move.

The people that I work with, and the people that I’m making this program for, want to make lifting weights a PART of their life. Not their ENTIRE life.

I have guys who play on high-level adult softball teams. Guys who play 18 holes every weekend. Guys who run pickup basketball games throughout the week. Even guys who are professional fighters.

I want to ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT those activities. Not sideline them because they’re too sore.

Separate pain from progress.

Soreness does not equal hard work.

Hard work equals hard work.