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Should Your Workouts Cause Pain?

No. The end.

Obviously, this is how I would like to answer this question, however that’s not persuasive enough for most people. Allow me to further explain why your workouts should not cause pain.


When we think about improving your bodies functionality we should be doing things that will help lead to an outcome that makes you better not worse. If you’re carrying around the idea that working out should be painful and lead to soreness what you’re doing is beating your body up, not making it better. When we want to improve and increase your body’s function we need to do things that do just that, which is to better it not beat it.


The old quote no pain no gain, is a term that is outdated and no longer serves a purpose if your goal is to improve yourself. When pain is lingering or surfaces during your workouts that’s your body saying that something is wrong and needs to change. Pain derails progress because acute or chronic, it stops us from doing the things we want like going on hikes or playing with the kids.

You don’t need to do the most extreme workout every time you go to the gym, instead you want to do about 80% of what you can do and save 20% for the next day. This allows you to train at a sub-max level where you’re not gassing yourself out right away or every day. Your workouts should be moderate to sometimes high intensity with a balance of lower intensity as well. Regardless of the intensity you’re working at you shouldn’t be feeling pain or going into pain.


Your workouts should be designed to make you feel stronger, move better, and improve the quality of your life not cause it pain and derailment of your goals.

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