Do you really need to feel pain to gain?

The fitness mantra “No pain, no gain” is thankfully a thing of the past, for the most part. Similar mentalities have taken its place, such as just keep pushing through or the suggestion that sweat and tiredness indicate a great workout. These ideas create a lot of concern for many because getting hurt is not on the top of their “to do list”.

A painful exercise is usually an indication to stop and evaluate what may be causing the problem. We have found that every exercise (and stretch) does not work foe everyone. If you are in pain during an exercise then your body is trying to tell you something and you really need to listen. The body might have to be aligned better or a different exercise selected. Active coaching helps with this aspect. Just pushing through the exercise may very well cause a serious injury. 

Another thought is that exercise has to make you sweaty and tired. Again, not a requirement. Here the focus shifts from performing the best exercises to help you reach your needs and goals instead of performing any exercise that makes you work as hard as possible. The body changes when you challenge it to perform more “work” than it is normally used to on a regular basis. The new mantra should read “if it challenges you, it will change you”. As we age our bodies do not change or recover as quickly as when we were in our 20s. This also means that working until we are in pain usually results only in pain. Your workouts should progressively and consistently challenge you to do a little bit more every week, not always more every workout. By adding a couple more repetitions, or another set, or additional weight (not all three at the same time) you will challenge yourself a little bit more and change a little bit more on the way to reaching your goals. 

A workout might make you sweat and maybe not. You might feel tired afterward. Your muscles may even be a little sore the next day. Everyone will experience different effects. All of this said, exercise is still work. The key is exercises that make you better and help you reach your goals safely. Take care of yourself.

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