Welcome to the fifth part in my series on examining motivational quotes for fitness!
As a reminder, we are taking a look at these quotes because many people look for them before they work out to get themselves ready and psyched to exercise.
While this can be a helpful practice, since there is so much out there to enhance motivation, I want to take a deeper look at them to see what these quotes mean and if they are worth paying attention to.
If you are not caught up on the series, please feel free to check out the previous parts:
Our quote for today comes from an anonymous source and reads:
“Sore. The most satisfying pain.”
What Is It Trying To Say?
On the surface, the quote seems pretty self-explanatory in the fitness realm. If you are sore, that is a good thing. It means you worked your muscles to the point where they really need recovery from exercise.
This, according to the quote, is satisfying to the person workout out because they know that the work they performed was effective.
It is in the same vein as the “No pain, no gain” types of quotes that are basically preaching that if you aren’t sore, you either aren’t doing it right or going hard enough.
What may become confusing and somewhat concerning when you start to analyze it, is the use of the words “sore” and “pain” within the same phrase.
There is a big difference between the two that is worthy of learning so you can better monitor your own workouts.
That way, you can differentiate between what is muscle soreness and what is muscle pain, or injury.
What Is Muscle Soreness?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, muscle soreness is a completely normal reaction your body has to effective exercise. It often called “feeling the burn” and should not be severe, but mild in nature.
It is also important to note that muscle soreness should not last a long time after the workout has ended. Many times, after a strenuous workout, muscle can be sore for up to a couple of days while they recover. The same goes for muscle tiredness (fatigue). This is good only if it lasts a short while.
However, if soreness or fatigue lasts longer than usual, or feels worse than the aforementioned “burn” or slight stiffness, then there may be a problem that needs to be investigated.
What Is Muscle Pain
Muscles, the surrounding tissues (tendons and ligaments), and bones that are worked too hard and/or too fast may experience pain or injury. There are several key factors that make pain different from muscle soreness. Again, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, these include:
- Pain that lasts a long time after exercise.
- The pain begins to affect your performance (though this is more normal for a high level athlete).
- It does not go away when rested.
- The pain affects how you function outside of your workouts (interrupting normal activities or sleeping)
- Constant pain the gets worse over the course of time instead of getting better
- Receiving treatment for your pain does not help it to go away.
- You need to take increasingly larger amounts of pain medication to alleviate the pain.
- Developing muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness.
- Loss of motion in your extremities.
- You get fevers, chills, or night sweats.
- Immediate swelling or function loss of the painful area.
- Bruising of the area.
All of these are very different from just feeling a little sore after a bout with exercise and can be an indication that there is a bigger problem to deal with.
If you experience any of these things during or after a workout, then I would not advise pushing through the next workout before seeking the advice of a physician.
To read more in-depth about the differences between soreness and pain, click on of the Johns Hopkins Medicine link above.
Is The Quote OK?
In my opinion, I think that quotes like this may be doing more harm than good. I get the intention behind it, but I feel that there needs to be clear differentiation between soreness and pain.
Many people, including myself, wonder if the soreness they are experiencing should be pushed through or if they need a day of rest. Quotes like this could pressure someone into thinking that they should push through pain when there actually might be a bigger problem.
I’m not saying you should never work out if you are feeling something, because it is true that if you aren’t experiencing some kind of soreness or fatigue (known as delayed onset muscle soreness), then your muscles aren’t being worked hard enough to see effective results.
However, you do have to be smart when it comes to assessing your body’s readiness to take on a workout as you don’t want to exacerbate an injury.
POPSUGAR Fitness has a great article about assessing whether you should push through a workout, take a recovery day, or see a doctor. I strongly suggest you check it out, as I found the information to be incredibly helpful.
Their advice for dealing with soreness from a workout boils down to:
- Taking pain medication so you can make it through a workout is not advised as it may lead to you not feeling when your body is being pushed too far.
- As said above, you have to examine and assess how your body is feeling.
- You need to eat, especially protein, when dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness. Eating well is refueling your muscles and leads to faster recovery.
- Don’t do the same workout every day. Repeated use of the same muscles in the same movements can increase your chances of injury, so work different muscle groups on different days, leaving time to rest in between.
Look Elsewhere For Motivation
As I said in my assessment of the quote, I think it does more harm than good and that is due to its clarity. We love little soundbites or nice short phrases we can tweet, but sometimes there needs to be more explanation.
Knowing the difference between soreness and pain is a huge help to anyone taking part in a fitness routine and this quote simply isn’t helpful with that.
Now it’s your turn, though! What do you think about this quote and others like it? Have you ever tried to push through pain and sustained injury because of it? Is there a fitness quote that you use that you would like me to analyze in the next installment of Motivational Quotes For Fitness?
Let me know in the comments below and please feel free to ask any questions you may have!
If you know someone who needs to hear the difference between soreness and pain, please take the time to hit one of those share buttons that have been following you down the page! I appreciate your support that allows me to keep bringing you articles like this!
Until next time, God bless and happy workouts!