Pain is NOT a good thing. I don’t care how many sets you did, or how busy you were, or how you’re following the “no pain no gain” mentality. Chronic pain and discomfort are not good. They are indicative that you have a problem.
Pain can come from many sources and weeding out the true cause many not be easy or intuitive. Take it from an athlete and weekend warrior.
Pain is only slowing you down. It’s killing your energy, motivation and health.
Consistency is king if you want to make change. Question is: Do you want to make positive change or negative change?
Yes, that is a serious question. If you’re experiencing pain, and its NOT getting better then you are inflicting NEGATIVE change upon yourself. This is true even if you are getting stronger or you “feel” like you’re able to do more.
I understand how this may seem counter intuitive. “I’m getting stronger. That means I’m improving, right?”
Muscular strength is good, but not at the cost of your body’s integrity, and pain is your body’s way of telling you that it’s integrity is compromised.
“But Will, I’m hurt because I worked out yesterday.”
Let me remind you. Working out is not suppose to cripple you. If you’re super sore from a workout then you were not ready to handle that load, and continuing to do so will only further foster the development of imbalance and contribute to your bodies weakening integrity.
A classic example is when massage hurts.
A healthy muscle should not hurt when pressure is applied. Take a minute or two before your next workout and roll yourself out with your gyms foam roller. Rest different parts of your body upon it and rock back and forth applying increasing pressure to the various muscles and connective tissue on your body.
If you’re in pain then I guarantee you will find some tender areas. It may even be hard to bare the pain. That’s ok. Just keep rolling over the tender spot, and keep going until you feel the muscle relax. The process should feel uncomfortable but not unbearable.
Upon getting up you’ll feel brand new. Your muscles will be relaxed, your pain will have decreased, and your flexibility will be improved.
This is what your body is suppose to feel like. This is why you need to make recovery a top priority. This is why you NEED to stop beating yourself up. Foam rolling is not a permanent fix, but It does illustrate that you have a problem with your body, and you have to take better care of yourself. Both with your training and your recovery.
If you don’t train properly, and don’t heed the warning signs you WILL break yourself. It may not be today, it may not be for months to come, but it WILL happen.
Take the steps to heal yourself now, so you can continue doing the things you want and love. Your body has to recover, and you have a choice. Do it on your terms, or cross the line or injury and let your body recover on it’s terms.