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Sports with muscle pain: good or bad?

Muscle pain, we've all had it and sometimes so much that we could hardly get out of bed. Whether it's from running or strength training, muscle soreness can always arise. Many a person at the gym will tell you that you should never exercise with muscle soreness, but why? Does it matter, or is it perhaps good for the muscles?

In this blog, we explain to you whether exercising with muscle pain is harmful so that in the future you can enter the gym armed with knowledge.

What is muscle pain?

In order to go deeper into whether or not exercising with muscle pain is possible, we first need to understand what muscle pain actually is. When you exercise you are making tiny tears in your muscle tissue. Your body naturally wants to recover these and make your muscles stronger again for the next time you train. Various substances are released due to the damage you have done to the muscles, causing mini swellings that eventually cause pain. The painful, stiff, and stiff feeling that you then get in your muscles, that is muscle pain.

Sports with muscle pain

Two different types of muscle pain

Basically, there are two different types of muscle pain that we experience. This is the early muscle pain and the delayed muscle pain. When we talk about muscle pain in general, we are always talking about delayed muscle pain. The explanation for the above heading 'What is muscle pain?' focuses on the delayed muscle pain variant. The difference in this is important to determine whether you can exercise with muscle pain without unpleasant consequences.

Early muscle pain

The early muscle soreness you experience during exercise is also known as Immediate Soreness. This is a burning sensation that arises in the muscles due to your effort. You often notice this when you do a high number of repetitions on an exercise, or during endurance sports, for example.

This early muscle pain is also called acidification and is caused by lactic acid. During exercise, this waste is released and must be removed. If the body cannot remove these quickly enough, there is a build-up of lactic acid, which stimulates the nerve endings and causes early muscle pain. If you take a break, you will notice that the early muscle pain will disappear almost immediately.

Delayed Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

The delayed muscle soreness is also known as DOMS. DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This usually occurs about 24 to 48 hours after exercise. When people talk about muscle pain, they almost always refer to DOMS.

Is exercising with muscle soreness good or bad?

Exercising with muscle soreness is, to a certain extent, not bad for you! The stiff and stiff feeling that you have in your muscles will not feel pleasant and it is therefore wise not to start training heavily immediately. When you decide to exercise with muscle pain, choose to train lightly and choose cardio, for example.

When you start exercising with muscle pain and you choose movements that put little strain on your muscles, this can even promote recovery. Better blood flow through the activity can ensure a faster recovery. It is important to mention a few caveats in this regard. First of all, you should take into account that you probably move less smoothly because of the muscle pain. So make sure that you still perform the exercises correctly.

In addition, your strength will also be less than if you do not have muscle pain. Also, keep this in mind when you walk into the gym. So don't try to set a new personal record. Opt for lightweights and/or cardio. Focus on recovery instead of building strength and pay extra attention to the execution of the exercises. If you keep all this in mind, then exercising with muscle soreness is certainly not bad for you, but it might be good.

How to prevent sports with muscle soreness?

Okay, so it's not bad to exercise with muscle pain. However, of course, you don't want every lightweight workout focused on recovery in the gym, do you? If it happens that you have to exercise with muscle pain, you now know that it can't hurt. To ensure that you can make enough progress, it is smart to organize your training schedule well.

It is therefore important to see what the days are for you on which you can train. On the basis of this, you can determine which muscle groups you can train and when. If you write this out a bit tactically, you can train many muscle groups just twice a week. Of course, the amount of muscle pain you experience differs per person (think of diet, rest, genetic predisposition), so this does not mean that you no longer have muscle pain at all 72 hours after your effort.

Make sure you get enough rest, drink enough water, and, among other things, consume enough protein, to ensure that your muscles can recover properly from the effort.

TIP: Explanation about how you can easily create a super training schedule yourself and arrange it in such a way that you do not have to train with muscle pain? Then read this blog: creating a training schedule.

Train another muscle group if you have muscle pain

If you have more freedom in your training schedule, you can decide on the day whether or not you can train a certain muscle group. Suppose you have chest on the program, but you really still have considerable muscle pain in your chest muscles. You can then do two things. Either you lightly train the chest muscles aimed at recovery, or you do another muscle group that you would actually train on another day. For example, you can do your chest exercises the next day.

Make sure that your training schedule does not go completely wrong, because otherwise, you may not come out well with your exercises the following week. You could also choose to skip a muscle group once if the muscle pain is really too great. It's not a disaster if you don't train this one, especially since the muscles are still working hard on recovery.

So, whether or not to exercise with muscle pain?

The conclusion of the whole story whether you can exercise with muscle pain is actually quite simple. Yes, you can exercise with muscle soreness, but with very light weights and/or cardio. Ideally, you choose to make your training schedule in such a way that your muscle groups have enough time to recover before you train them again.

After all, it is very important that your muscles can recover sufficiently. So just be sensible and choose the long term. Training occasionally with muscle pain certainly does not hurt, but make sure that this is not the case every week. Give your muscles enough time to recover and you will find that you make more progress than if you go too fast.

Frequently asked questions about exercising with muscle soreness

In this last section of this blog, we briefly answer a few more questions about exercising with muscle soreness. Have you read everything and has your question not yet been answered? Let us know and maybe we'll add your question to this overview.

How long should you wait to exercise after muscle pain?

There is no set time for how long you should wait to exercise if you have muscle pain. Simply try to schedule your workouts so that your muscles have enough time to recover. It does not hurt to train with mild muscle pain, but make sure that you do not train too heavily.

Can you exercise with extreme muscle pain?

It is not recommended to exercise with severe or extreme muscle pain. After all, your body is still recovering. You can solve this by training a completely different muscle group, or simply by taking an extra day of rest. Do you also have time to watch that new series on Netflix?

Can you exercise with mild muscle pain?

Yes, you can exercise with mild muscle pain. Make sure that the execution of the exercises is good and that the weight you use is not too heavy. The goal of the training should be recovery, whereby the blood circulation gets started by training lightly and muscle recovery can be accelerated.

TIP: Did you find this article interesting and would you like to read more articles about strength training? Then view the strength training category and check all related blogs.

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