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How much muscle soreness is too much?

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  • How much muscle soreness is too much?

    I'm curious if anyone has advice on delayed onset muscles soreness (which I've heard called DOMS) following sessions of "lifting heavy things." After twenty years of resistance training I've gotten better at recognizing the symptoms of overtraining, thanks in large part to Mark's excellent post on that subject. But I'm still concerned I haven't struck the right balance between challenging my muscles sufficiently and overdoing it. Any suggestions on ways to manage level of intensity during resistance training? Do folks believe in pushing each muscle group to failure once a session? (Or a week? Or a month?) How much soreness should be tolerated as the price of progress? It just seems to me that Grok wouldn't have found it particularly adaptive to his survival if he was sore all the time!

  • #2
    I know what you mean. I want a bit of aching the next day because then I know I've pushed myself enough, but if if really uncomfortable it really gets annoying and Im probably not doing myself anygood? I would be interested to see what suggestions people come up with. I tend to base my workouts arounf the 5X5 system, tweaking to my circumstances and I'd agree that one failure per workout is a good compromise.

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    • #3
      I've not experienced muscle soreness using the big three. I do one set, with a weight sufficient that I reach failure around the 50 second, to 60 second range.


      • #4
        I have three distinct ways that my muscles can feel. If I've really pushed way too hard or done something extremely out of the ordinary then I might have a little actual soreness in my muscles. This doesn't happen very often because my muscles get worked out regularly and rarely pushed passed their limits. If I were to skip working out for a while I my muscles just feel weak. It's hard to explain but unless I'm sick or something I don't like to let that happen either.
        Most of the time I have a very slight tingling sensation in my arms, chest, and legs. The sensation is nearly always present but very subtle. It means to me that my muscles have been well worked but not over done either. I've gotten so that I really enjoy that feeling and it's mentally reassuring to when it's there.