What is muscle soreness and how does it occur?
Muscle soreness is most of the time after your workout and in some cases while you workout. The soreness is a result of little tears in the tissue of the muscle. These tears occur when the muscle is worked harder than it is used to, this makes the muscle stronger by rebuilding and growing the muscle tissue. Most people confuse muscle soreness with a muscle injury, however, it is fairly easy to distinguish the two. Muscle soreness is experienced as an aching pain.
The muscles can as a result of the muscle soreness slightly become more swollen. However, the pain of a muscle injury is more sharp and direct to your muscle rather than all over your muscle. Muscle soreness is considered a normal and healthy response of your body to exercise.
Lactic acid is also a key player in muscle soreness. This is a by-product of exercise that builds up in the muscles and causes that burning sensation. In order for muscles to repair and grow, they need time to recover from this lactic acid build-up. This is why it is important to allow for rest days between workouts.
Some studies show that muscle soreness peaks about 24-48 hours after a workout and then slightly decreases over the next few days. This is why you may not feel sore immediately after your workout, but may wake up the next day feeling very sore. People that are not used to working out will experience this type of delayed muscle soreness more extremely and that can result in an uncomfortable feeling.
You are not working the muscle hard enough
People do not experience muscle soreness after a workout because they are not pushing themselves hard enough. To experience a good and healthy muscle soreness after your workout, you have to somehow push yourself to the limit. This can be till you don’t have any strength left or when your muscle is exhausted. This means doing exercises with proper form and challenging yourself to do more reps or use heavier weights. Additionally, you should make sure to give your body adequate rest and recovery time in between workouts to prevent over training.
Your muscle has to be fatigued in order to break it down and rebuild and grow itself. This is how you achieve muscle growth in simple terms. So when you are not reaching that level of fatigue in your muscle then of course you will not experience muscle soreness because you are not working your muscle hard enough for it to feel challenged.
You are using the wrong weight
Another common reason people do not experience muscle soreness is because they are using the wrong weight. This can be either using a weight that is too light or a weight that is too heavy.
If the weight you are using is too light, you will not be challenging your muscles enough to cause them to break down and rebuild. On the other hand, if the weight is too heavy, you may be using poor form which can lead to injury.
Another thing is the repetition amount. If you’re not performing enough reps even with a good weight, you will not stimulate the muscle sufficiently. In order to find the right weight and amount of repetitions, you will need to experiment and find what challenges your muscles without causing injury.
You are not using proper form
One more important factor in reaching the best results for muscle growth is your form. Many people start going to the gym by themselves and learn the form of most exercises by themselves. Therefore they will unintentionally teach themselves the wrong form of an exercise that can easily cause an injury. It is very important to apply the right form in every exercise no matter what, in order to avoid unnecessary injuries. This will help you to target the desired muscle group even better and increase muscle growth after your exercise.
If you don’t know how to apply the right form for an exercise, you can get some advice from people who work in your local gym, most of the time they know what they are doing. However, what you can also do is start by using small weights and feel what is right for you.
Your muscles have already adapted to the exercise
One theory is that when you are doing the same exercise every time your muscles might adapt to the movement. Therefore they are less likely to feel challenged and this can result in less muscle soreness. You can avoid this by changing your workout routine regularly. For example, you could try a different variation, change the order of your exercises, increasing the weights of some exercises. One big believer in this theory was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, “You have to constantly go beyond your comfort zone.” This could not be more true when it comes to exercise. In order to see results, you need to constantly challenge your muscles in new ways.
Another famous quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger is “Shock the muscle.” This means to do something that will “shock” or surprise the muscle, such as using a heavier weight than you are used to, using a different exercise than you are used to, or anything else that will catch the muscle off guard. This is a great way to break through plateaus and continue seeing results.
You are not eating enough protein
Muscles need to repair and rebuild themselves, and to do this effectively your muscle need protein. If your muscles don’t get the protein they need then your body doesn’t have the building blocks to repair your muscles. That is why eating enough protein is essential especially when it comes to building muscle.
There are various sources to get your protein from, for example, one of the most obvious sources can be protein powder. I like to drink protein shakes when I’m in a cutting phase, protein shakes are easy to make and also very low in calories compared to eggs, fish, and lean meat.
- Protein powder
- Dairy products
You are not resting enough
Rest is just as important as exercise when it comes to muscle growth. When you exercise, you are actually causing micro-tears in your muscle tissue. In order for your muscles to repair and grow, they need time to rest and recover.
If you do not give your muscles enough time to recover, they will not be able to repair and grow properly. This can lead to injury and frustration. It is important to make sure that you are giving your muscles at least 48 hours of rest in between workouts.
You may also want to consider adding a active recovery day into your routine. This is a day where you do light activity such as walking or stretching. This can help to increase blood flow to the muscles and speed up the recovery process.
Studies have shown the importance of resting in muscle building. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that subjects who rested for 48-72 hours before their next workout had significantly increased their strength compared to those who did not rest.
Conclusion on why your muscles are not getting sore
There are a number of factors that could be causing your muscles to not become sore after exercise. These include: using improper form, your muscles have already adapted to the exercise, you are not eating enough protein,and you are not resting enough.
If you are not sure what the cause is, it is always best to consult with a personal trainer or another fitness professional. They will be able to help you troubleshoot the problem and come up with a plan to get your muscles sore again.