I hear this a lot these days.. actually I have seen it on T-shirts. ‘Pain is weakness leaving the body” I actually cringe when I see this.. because NO NO NO… For sure you are going to have some pain if you workout.. but its definitely more than that.. its actually a complex issue. What I tell my clients is that pain is necessary to transform your body.. I mean we have all felt sore … but there comes a point where pain can actually go to far and cause a serious problem. There is a fine line to walk with pain.. to control pain you have to know the upside and downside of it. Pain is absolutely necessary to get your body to the next level of change. Thats because your body won’t change unless its forced to change. Think about it .. maybe you can identify with this … you know someone or even yourself …who is a runner or a cyclist.. they have been doing this forever but actually look the same year after year. Its almost like your body has become immune to it . So the key to change your body is to physically progress… you literally have to go to the next level to test your boundaries. If you lift weights you probably remember the first time you did bodyweight squats.. now fast forward 5 years and you are doing them with a 60 lb bar on your back with little to no soreness.. see.. your body adapts to whatever you give it. You have to deal with the pain of serious exercise. You cannot trigger muscle hypertrophy by just punching it in. Its gotta be intense if you want to see change PERIOD!! Here are some of the red flags on pain… Many people start their exercise programs balls to the walls and want to just kill it 6 days a week… I love the enthusiasm and am all for it but you have to listen to your body. Muscle pain when strength training is normal but joint pain is not. Joint pain means stop.. something is wrong!
Another red flag is pain that continues beyond the workout. Basically if your muscle pain is not going away after a few days then you may need to rest. For example I do legs twice a week.. If my glutes are on fire after 2 or 3 days I will listen to my body and do it on the fourth day. So how do I handle pain in a workout? This is what I do.. I feel pain say on the 9 th rep.. That fire kicks in.. I say ok.. lets get in 3 more solid reps. If my form starts to falter .. I stop. Swinging my back for example while doing a bicep curl is not worth the risk of injury. Not for me anyway.. Maybe for a professional power lifter but for me at my age.. its just not. Once you hit the wall.. what I call my last rep to failure … this is where the magic happens. I many times tell my clients to do an exercise to failure as of late .. why?? because 12 reps is now to easy .. they are just coasting.. maybe they can do 25 hard core pushups and grind out another 13 reps. Your body will definitely give you a fight.. but remember this…. if you can consistently get in to the muscle pain zone you will continually make progress.. key word her .. muscle not joint. Btw.. the blue house of pain was what a lot of my clients called my home gym where I trained them for many years before opening my studio. Well guess what??? Its now yellow… Its so bright and cheery now.. think sunshine instead of pain. ha ha.. well you will still have to go up those stairs so not sure how sunny that will feel.. especially after a leg workout 🙂