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Is Muscle Soreness a Sign of Overtraining?

Updated on October 16, 2011

Do your muscles feel sore after weight lifting or doing some form of exercise? Does the soreness usually occur the following day? When doing any form of weight training and other physical activities, muscle soreness is quite normal.

Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness

After an intense exercise session, it is very common to feel sore the next day. This soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. This type of soreness is perfectly normal. Weight lifting will especially make you feel this type of muscle soreness. You should feel soreness upon touching the muscle or stretching the muscle out. This type of soreness may last for several days. If this continues past a week, however, then you may have over worked a muscle group(s).

What you do need to watch out for is a "sharp pain" in the muscles. This may be an indication that you pulled a muscle or over worked the muscle. This is not a good type of pain! Consult your doctor if you feel random bouts of sharp pain in your muscles or joints.

Muscle Soreness may last longer if your new to exercising or perform a new exercise or weight lifting program

When a person starts an exercise regimen, they will likely feel very sore the next few days. This is because the muscles are not conditioned and the body is trying to rebuild damaged muscle cells. Basically, those muscles are not in shape. Usually when a person's body gets used to exercising a few days a week, then their muscle soreness may fade over time. For example, delayed onset muscle soreness may last 4-5 days in the beginning, but eventually it may only last 2 days. Sometimes it may go away completely or you may not experience soreness in "certain muscle groups." Larger muscle groups such as legs are known to be under muscle soreness for a longer period of time than smaller muscle groups like biceps.

So, is muscle soreness a sign of overtaining? As long as you do not feel sharp pains in your muscles or joints, it is not. Joint pain is not good! Your joints should not feel pain after exercising. If they do, you may have done an exercise incorrectly or used more weight than you could handle. Other than that, muscle soreness is quite common after weight lifting or doing intense physical exercise. Never train the same muscle group again if you are still experiencing soreness from previous workout! Wait until it goes away before training it again. If you train the same muscle group when it is still sore, you are likely going to get injured or lose muscle because you have not given your body the time it needs to heal!


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