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NO PAINS, NO GAINS

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Fitness is about working your body parts physically through various levels of resistances in various ways. Physical fitness can be achieved in many ways: you can run, you can swim, walk, skip a rope, play outdoor sports, martial arts, weight training in the gym or outdoor and many more. All of these physical activities have their own significances and it’s not necessary for a person to include all of them to get fit. It varies from people’s choices on exercises in accordance with their fitness goals and what they enjoy the most.  A marathon runner doesn’t want to spend hours and hours in the gym pumping iron definitely. Selection of effective exercise methods will be the smartest idea to get desired results.

Whatever exercise have you done and whichever sport have you played, you might have experienced the muscle soreness even once in your lifetime. Soreness after workout is so natural that you don’t have to worry much about that pain. For an instance, if you train your chest after a long time or for the first time, pain in chest muscles will follow you next day or two later. It’s not only exercises that sore your muscles but also the household activities like gardening and lawn mowing panic your muscles if you do it after a month or two. Many people avoid exercising on any form due to this reason, soreness while degrading their own fitness level. Lets see what is soreness and how it occurs.

  • You might have trained any of your body part, lets say chest (or it could be any exercise) for the first time or often after a long gap.
  • You might have suddenly increased your exercise intensity level.
  • You might have increased the length of your workout.
  • You might have done eccentric exercises  (lengthening of muscles instead of shortening, eg. Doing leg extension, triceps cable pressdowns, biceps curls  with arm extending) .
     

These variations to your exercise routines can cause a microdamage, which is a tiny tears and injuries in the muscles fibers and connective tissues. You don’t feel sore right after you finish your workout, it comes the next day. It normally peaks within 48 hours and will gradually get better. Workout soreness doesn’t last long and it shouldn’t last long.  This type of muscle soreness or muscle pain that occurred after a workout day is called delayed onset muscle soreness. When you do the same activity over and over again, the muscles will start to adapt the intensity, load and resistance and will get used to it. The muscles and connective tissues become stronger leaving the pain behind or a very less pain.  If you increase your exercise intensity again, the process repeats; soreness comes, soreness goes, muscles adapts and get stronger.

Here is how a very popular bodybuilding adage derived: “No Pains, No Gains

Most of the bodybuilders all over the world embrace this pain (muscle soreness) more than anything else. This pain indicates how they have pumped the part that makes muscles stronger and grow bigger.  Former Mr. Olympia and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all times, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said in regards of this pain,” The only way to be a champion is going through these forced reps and the pain. What helps me is to think of this pain as pleasure. Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore for me, pain is pleasure. And so when I experience pain I’m in heaven. It is great. People suggest that this is masochistic. But they are wrong. I like pain at a particular moment for a particular reason. I don’t like needles stuck in my arm. But I do like the pain that is necessary to be a champion.”

Whatever your fitness goal is and whichever exercise training you pick from a basket, this pain follows you as a temporary shadow. Even if you start running for the first time, or skipping a rope after years, or brisk walk for couple of minutes, this pain will ultimately chase you. You have to overcome this pain by doing the same exercise routine again and again. When you are successful, this pain will become a pleasure, you’ll want it for more, and that is what gives you a long dreamt fit body. Don’t let this soreness be your fitness barrier.

- SANJEET K SHRESTHA

Fitness Nepal

Note: Article published in +977 Magazine, Sydney, Australia