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Should you always be sore?

Quick answer: NO.

I know some of us love being sore but truth of the matter is, it's not very beneficial to be sore all the time. Ideally, we would like to experience muscle soreness occassionally, but definitely not every day.

Why? Because our beautiful bodies need time to repair. If we are always reaching a point of soreness the body can't fully repair. Now this can be taken the wrong way but think of this general rule: If a certain muscle group is sore, allow it to rest. That doesn't mean you can't move your body, it just means don't push it in relation to the muscles that are sore.

For example: if your legs are sore from a workout on Monday, perhaps on Tuesday you hit a flat trail for a hike instead of something monsterous. This allows blood flow to increase to your legs which is great as that's how repairs can happen but you also aren't creating any new bits of damage (muscle tears during workouts/activities are what cause muscle growth via repair of the tears...neat eh?!).

Another example: say again, you hit it hard on Monday's leg workout and now it's Tuesday but you are super sore. Tuesday is HIIT and we jump, what are you going to do?! Modify! Still move your body but do so in ways that encourage repairs, not cause more damage. You'll notice most Tuesday's I am not squatting too deep or jumping too high and that's usually because my legs are toast from Mondays.

So when can you expect to discover muscle soreness?

-Introduction of a new movement or intesity/application of the movement (ex: higher reps/lighter weight, lower reps/heavier weight, isometric holds)

-Using a new weight for you (say using 10's instead of 5's)

Is it weird to not be sore right away but then find yourself sore a day or two later?

No! This is called DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness. It's very common and not a bad thing. The more in touch you become with your body and how you recover the more accurate you can be in assessing if you need to pull back or can keep plowing ahead.

How does one become more in touch with their body?

Listen to it. If you don't hear anything don't fret, your mind is probably still trying to tell you what's up and what to do based on silly unrealistic expectations. If you hear a voice in your head telling you to push through a workout despite feeling shitty/sore/lethargic/unexcited/unwell please do yourself a favor and pause. That pause is key cause the pause allows you space to step into choice- to remove yourself from a conditioned belief that you must workout everyday, that you're not worthy of love if you don't workout, or that all your workouts have to be lethal (or whatever your belief may be...).

The pause is clutch. Sometimes you will ignore what your body is telling you and sometimes you will listen. The win here is that you are building awareness...awareness of what your body is telling you. That's pretty damn cool. And it can be scary, but that's our next post, coming at you next week...

Journaling prompts to explore yourself and dig deeper:

-What's your relationship to soreness?

-Do you feel validated/worthy only when sore?

-Do you allow yourself space or a pause in order to assess where you are at in regards to you and your body? Before a workout, during, and after?

-How has your relationship with workout intensity dictated your workouts?

-What do you look for in a workout? Why?

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