Why Am I So Sore?

My lats have been sore for 6 days!


Was that much soreness intended? Not exactly.


Where did I go wrong? I got a little carried away with an exercise I haven’t done in a long time.


The exercise that got me was kipping pull ups. Kipping pull ups are pull ups, only you get to use momentum to help you up. I have been doing some pull ups in my workouts, but not as many and not kipping.


We get the most sore when we do something dramatically different in our training. Increasing intensity, increasing volume, doing a new exercise, working a new muscle group, or changing tempo are all ways that may cause more intense muscle soreness. Basically whenever you do something new, harder, or more of it in your workouts, you can expect to get sore.


The above list has a lot of great ideas on how we can change our workouts to improve your fitness level. So how do we introduce these ideas without getting super sore?


The best way to do it is to introduce these ideas at a volume/intensity that is below our capability. THEN we can gradually increase volume/intensity until we approach the limit of what our fitness level can handle.


The reason I got so sore was because I did double the number of pull ups my body was used to doing in a workout AND I switched to a type of pull up that my body wasn’t used to doing. I was messing with two variables and pushing the limit of how many I could do without properly progressing myself into that workout.


If you find yourself in a similar situation feeling super sore for days, what do you do? Well, you probably want to wait until your soreness has mostly gone away. Then you should repeat whatever it was that got you sore in the first place… just with less volume/intensity this time. I would keep doing it multiple times per week (so my body has a chance to adapt) and gradually progress until I can do the initial workout (or maybe even a tougher workout) without extreme soreness after.


Soreness is usually an indicator that you did something different or more challenging. A little bit of soreness lets you know you did good work. A lot of soreness lets you know you did a bit too much. Use it as a guide to make adjustments to your training accordingly.


No soreness isn't necessarily a bad thing by the way. The goal of your workout could be something that wouldn't necessarily cause any soreness at all… So don't feel like you need to chase soreness every workout.


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