You have probably already asked yourself whether sore muscles are necessary for effective muscle building or whether the training without subsequent sore muscles really did anything?
We explain how sore muscles develop and whether effective muscle building works without sore muscles.
Previous scientific evidence suggests that sore muscles are caused by the by-product of anaerobic energy supply, called lactate. It is true that when the muscles are strained, more lactic acid is produced as a metabolic by-product. However, the overacidification of the muscle due to increased lactate accumulation is not the cause of sore muscles.
Lactate only has a half-life of 20 minutes. Sore muscles only develop 12-48 hours after exercise. Therefore, based on current knowledge, it is unlikely that muscle soreness is caused by acidosis.
However, too much lactate in the muscles hinders the smooth running of muscle work, since the falling pH value in the muscles inhibits enzymes that are responsible for muscle contraction. The result is reduced performance, which manifests itself in the weakness of the muscles.
Our tip for a quick recovery
If your muscles are burning after your workout, we recommend our Recovery guide. Because your workout success doesn’t end at the weight bench. Our guide helps you to give your muscles back the energy they used during the workout.
How do sore muscles develop
When the muscles work hard, fine tears develop in the smallest muscle fibers, which, depending on their size, can expand into sore muscles. In some areas there is even talk of an inflammatory reaction of the muscle.
The cause of the pain in the muscle is not fully understood. However, we know which influences favor the development of sore muscles:
- unfamiliar movements
- intense loads
- negative (eccentric) muscle movement
- jerky reversal of movement
- Deficiency in minerals and vitamins
Muscle soreness is felt, for example, by those who perform an intensive execution of unfamiliar sequences of movements, as is often the case, for example, in new training plans or unfamiliar exercises.
Uncontrolled movements and sudden changes in the direction of movement within an exercise can also lead to aching muscles.
The susceptibility to sore muscles is directly related to the respective performance level. In the beginning, training beginners tend to deal with sore muscles due to the unusual strain. This problem settles more and more as the body adapts to the movement patterns and the muscle building. The muscles become stronger and the regeneration times are shortened.
In order to avoid sore muscles, our experts advise you to keep the warm-up phase and movement sequences conscious and focused. Saunas, regular massages and an adequate supply of magnesium and daily vitamins can also prevent sore muscles.
In particular, zinc-magnesium complex supports your regeneration after training and also prevents concentration disorders and symptoms of fatigue. The best conditions to end your workout without sore muscles.
Does muscle building work effectively without sore muscles?
The answer is: yes! Even intense exercise that does not cause sore muscles can provide sufficient stimulus for your muscle growth. So sore muscles have no meaning as to whether the signal for “muscle building” was triggered or not.
However, there is no real method of determining whether a stress was strong enough to stimulate growth. Sore muscles are a very good indication of this. The degree of pain of the sore muscles also gives an idea of how strong or weak the strain on the muscle was.
Muscle building training with sore muscles
It’s okay to feel sore muscles after exercising. Going into a workout with a little sore muscles is not a problem. However, the sore muscles should have completely subsided before intense training.
Are you wondering if your sore muscles are still too sore for the next workout? Imagine a pain scale from 1-10, where 10 stands for excruciating muscle soreness and 1 for no sore muscles at all. Our recommendation is to start light training again at 4, or even better at 2 or 3.
The sore muscles are undoubtedly an indication of new muscle growth stimuli during training, but this does not have to be related to effective muscle building.
Muscle soreness is therefore only a means to an end. Diet and training with progressive weight gain are the most important success factors for building muscle. The positive energy balance gives the body the necessary basis to build up new substance in the form of muscles.
As you increase your weight, you create tiny tears in the muscles, which the body repairs and reinforces with new muscles at this point. Accordingly, the following factors are mainly responsible for effective muscle building:
- progressive weight gain in training
- positive overall energy balance (daily excess calories)