Exercise Myth Busters - ‘No Pain, No Gain’
The ‘no pain no gain’ motto often gets thrown around in the fitness industry, but is there any truth to this type of thinking?
First of all let’s break down the difference between muscle fatigue and soreness versus pain;
Generally the muscle fatigue we experience during a workout is normal. The burn we feel when we exercise is due to acidic protons, called hydrogen ions, being released as we breakdown glucose for energy.
The days following a challenging work out you may experience Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) where you find your muscles are stiff, sore and tired. These symptoms should pass after a few days. If they continue for a longer period of time you may have worked a little too hard, lifted too much or gone for too long. If you find yourself experiencing this it is a good idea to take step back to avoid putting too much strain on the body.
Pain you experience when exercising might be joint pain (e.g. knee or back pain), stabbing or shooting pain in a muscle, or cramping. This type of pain we don’t want during a workout.
When we ‘push through the pain’ bad things can happen. Pain is our body telling us there’s something wrong, you may lack the strength or stability to perform a particular exercise properly. This leads to improper loading of your joints which can cause injury. If we overload our system by ignoring this pain we can see serious injuries like muscle strains, tears, and impingement, spinal disc injuries, ligament injuries, the list goes on.
So the next time someone tells you ‘no pain, no gain’ you can set the record straight that muscle fatigue and soreness if fine but pain is something that should not be in our work outs.
By Emily Holzberger
B.ExSS Majoring in Clinical ExPhys. Memb: ESSA