Muscles are really not the end all of a workout. There are a few parameters to your fitness, out of which only one is how your muscles look and feel.
That said, muscle pain can put off several people from working out and exercising. And that is why we decided to make a post on it.
Does Muscle pain indicate damage?
Perhaps the most absurd justification for sloth we hear on the internet is the pain-means-damage argument.
Yes, working out does cause wear and tear in your muscles. It’s the entire reason you’re supposed to have protein in your diet!
Frankly speaking, muscle damage while working out is unavoidable, but don’t let damage make you imagine walking around with a crepe all your life.
If you’re not damaging your muscle tissues, you’re not working out properly. Muscle pain indicates damage, yes, but that damage is repaired by your body.
It is what causes your body to bulk up, because it spurs protein synthesis in those areas!
So what does cause muscle pain?
To put it simply, muscles pain because you make them work out. So there’s no need to fear a little soreness; no pain, no gain, right?
It is pretty essential, however, to watch out for prolonged, intense or unbearable pain, and get a qualified trainer’s opinion.
Anyway, there’s two kinds on muscle pain. The first is the pain you experience while working out. The second kind is the pain you wake up next morning to. So how does it all occur?
OK, that might not be the scientific term, but this name stuck with me because it encapsulates what causes the short lived but occasionally intense pain you experience while you’re working out.
When you work out, your body consumes the oxygen you breathe to burn carbohydrates to extract energy for your exercise.
This mechanism of energy generation is pretty efficient for almost all people in the world when they’re going about their day to day activities.
However, when you do some heavy lifting, run a few miles or even dance too much, your body needs more energy.
So it quickens you breathing for more oxygen, but that doesn’t work when your exercise goes on for longer periods, or takes much more energy than is available.
Basically, your body cannot absorb enough oxygen to burn those carbs.
So, it takes a shortcut, and breaks down those carbohydrates without oxygen, what in scientific banter is called anaerobically.
This anaerobic breakdown doesn’t release carbon dioxide like the usual respiration we do, but a compound called Lactic Acid.
It’s the same compound that makes milk taste weird after you leave it outside in the summer. This lactic acid then stings your muscles, causing you to feel pain.
But this pain is also easy to manage. When you’re done with your workout, do a cooldown. Stretching is great to get the blood flowing.
The moment you get blood to flow, along with the now plentiful oxygen, that lactic acid is broken down into carbon dioxide and water, and you stop feeling pain shortly after.
As fun as the name sounds, this is the tougher pain to manage in popular opinion.
It is the pain you experience when you wake up the next morning after your first few workouts for a particular muscle group, or when you’ve left that muscle group unattended for a while.
DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, since it happens after you’ve slept or taken a few hours after the workout.
DOMS essentially takes place because of the muscle wear and tear that takes place in a workout. This prompts your body to build new muscle to repair the tissue.
It has been noted that this process peaks a few hours after a workout, and during sleep. So if you feel sore the next morning, you’re free to take a day off, especially if it’s your first week.
But the thrill and gain is in pushing through, and getting your ass to gym to workout some more, guided by an able trainer, who can show you better ways to do the exercise and cause yourself less pain later on.
I hope this helps you get the motivation to work out despite the soreness.
Please remember that you need to respect your body and stop and rest if the pain is bearable. But if you think you can take some minor discomfort and keep at it, you’re getting closer to the attitude on champions.