Does Pain Mean a Workout Routine is Working?

does pain mean a workout routine is working?

No Pain, NO GAIN! That’s a common mantra repeated by personal trainers and athletic directors. But does that mean pain is good? At what point does pushing through pain become foolishness? If you’re wondering about these questions, then this article is for you. Not knowing the difference between good pain and bad pain can lead to serious injury.

Muscle Soreness vs. Pain

In fitness, there are two types of pain, “good pain” and “bad pain”. Good pain is the pain that naturally comes from working out your muscles. As you workout you are putting microtears in your muscles. When your body repairs those muscles, it will strengthen them. This process often involves soreness. While uncomfortable, this pain isn’t bad if it is only moderate. Extreme soreness could mean that you are throwing yourself too hard. In the long run, this will prevent you from progressing.

Bad pain is pain indicating an injury. If you push yourself too hard, you can tire out your muscles. When this happens, your bones, ligaments and joints begin to take the strain of your workout. This can lead to pulled muscles, torn ligaments, stress fractures, and swollen joints. If you are experiencing sharp pain, swelling, or soreness that won’t go away then you need to stop what you are doing and get checked out.


How to Manage Pain

Although you shouldn’t let pain control you, that doesn’t mean that you have to just deal with it. It is perfectly acceptable to take steps towards managing your pain. Much of the pain that is associated with working out has to do with swelling in the joints and inflamed muscles. You can help your muscle soreness by properly warming up and cooling down before and after workouts. Stretching is an excellent way to improve your mobility and can do a lot to prevent you from straining muscles.

If your pain is caused by swelling joints, you may want to take some medication. If you are concerned about the side-effects of modern medicine, you can try a more natural supplement. A popular choice is CBD oil. One of the primary benefits of CBD is its anti-inflammatory properties.


See a Therapist

If you’re having difficulty managing the pain that you experience while exercising you should probably see a physical therapist. A personal trainer might be able to give suggestions as to the cause of your pain, but they aren’t really qualified to treat you. A physical therapist is much more qualified to identify the source of the pain and help you learn how to deal with the pain and prevent it.


Physical fitness requires mental toughness. You are going to have to push through hard things. That does not mean that you must push through extremely painful things. The object of exercise is to improve yourself, not break yourself. After all, exercise should be fun.

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