Mark Rippetoe: Don’t Be Sore About Sore Muscles

PJ Lifestyle » Why Being Sore Doesn’t Mean You’re Getting Stronger

Training with weights produces muscle soreness. Many people don’t like to be sore, and that’s why they won’t train for strength. Running also makes you sore, but not as bad and not all over the body, like weights, so running is more popular. Other people have noticed that riding a bike doesn’t produce sore muscles, so they ride a bike for exercise instead of lifting weights or running. But to some people — and this may come as a surprise to most of you — getting sore becomes the whole point of exercise. They wear their soreness like a badge of honor, and regard sore muscles as the price they must pay for continued self-improvement.

I don’t regard it as a badge of anything, but I do get them.  Ibuprofen generally fixes me right up.

It also means that exercises without a significant eccentric component, like riding a bike or pushing a weighted sled, don’t make you sore. Cyclists very seldom experience sore quads even as their legs get stronger from the work of riding up hills. But this same cyclist with strong legs will experience horrible debilitating soreness if you have him squat, because he is not adapted to the eccentric component of the work. He hasn’t lowered any weight as he climbed his hills, so the squat will murder him the first time he does it.

Sure as hell murdered me.  Three sets of 5 squats with 60 pounds just about crippled me for three days.

Posted in Exercise permalink

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Mark Rippetoe: Don’t Be Sore About Sore Muscles — 4 Comments

  1. I’m using an older variation of this called Stronglifts 5×5, where you do five sets of 5 repetitions each for 3 exercises each time. I’m not a novice, so I started with more than the suggested beginning weight. A little over 4 weeks in and I’m up to 200 pounds, 5 sets of 5 reps. Not great by weightlifting standards, but I’m pretty happy. Should hit 280 pounds by the end of the 12 week cycle. I’m more impressed with how well the upper body workout is going. I’ve always been a slow gainer, but I’m already seeing minor body improvements. Kind of wish I had heard about this years ago. Ah well, at least I’m still doing it.

    I will say that the first 5 sets at 135 had me in a fair amount of pain the next day. It seemed easy for the first couple of sets and then reality set in.

  2. I do two different workouts, alternating them like so: A, B, A in week one and B, A, B in week two, and so on.

    A: 5×5 squat, 5×5 bench press, 5×5 bent over row (Pendlay variation)
    B: 5×5 squat, 5×5 overhead press, 1×5 deadlift

    I’m not including the warmup reps, which are now starting to take a while to complete.

    I’ll be happy to be in your kind of shape when I’m 68, which no longer seems that far away; I’m 51 now.

    I saw something on FB about running. It said “I run slower than 1990s Internet Explorer on dial up, but I run.” Kind of applies to me. I feel the same way about weightlifting. I’m not the strongest, nor will I ever be, but I can be pretty darned fit if I keep at it. My opinion is that if you stop moving for too long, you’ll never start again.

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