A widespread trend circulating in the fitness world is the notion that the only way to achieve fitness results is by making yourself physically sore for a few days. If you are not killing yourself in the gym, you are wasting your time and will not reap the benefits. All of these ideas are misconceptions. They in fact make up one of the biggest issues in fitness today, and contribute to why most of America is turned off by exercise–a very important part of our lives.
So let us understand what it means to be sore. Being sore is when small tears occur in the muscle and the subsequent rebuilding of the muscle into stronger and larger tissue. In extreme cases, excessive soreness is a sign of overtraining. This is when a body is so overstressed that even adequate rest will not allow for full recovery. Tests done in Rice University by Mark Jenkins MD concluded that athletes who over-train reach lower levels of performance, experience mood swings, and classify themselves as “burnt out.”
So how do we get results without overtraining? We can:
1. Constantly exercise different muscle groups. For instance, if you have worked your legs on Monday, you should leave them alone until Thursday.
2. Begin a new exercise program gradually. If you are just a beginner, do not just start training six days a week. This will put you into an immediate overtraining state and subsequently lose motivation.
3. Take care of ourselves. Eating correctly along with getting adequate sleep will provide enough recovery and will prevent overtraining.
To conclude, seeking immediate results by way of excessive conditioning could not only cause injuries and extreme soreness, but it could also result in burning out completely. We should of course push ourselves to achieve our goals, but only while doing so at the correct pace for you.
Yair Klyman is the manager of Underground Training in Tenafly. He is a post- rehab specialist along with a functional movement specialist. Contact Yair at 201-640-6905 or [email protected]
By Yair Klyman