Sore today. Strong tomorrow. This tagline was on the wall of one of my favorite athleisure shops – and it sort of made me angry. What message does that send to women? That we have to beat ourselves up in order to be strong? That we have to tear down our bodies – our precious bodies – in order to be strong? That just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would I ever want to do that to myself? And why would I ever want to do that to my friends, family and clients?The physiology of moving your body in new or harder ways can make your muscles sore. Your body is making adaptations to better prepare your muscles for doing that same activity again. You are actually creating small tears in your muscles and sometimes it does create soreness. That soreness is evident 24 – 48 hours post training. I know personally that the second day after hard effort I am the most sore. However, you don’t ALWAYS have to be sore in order to be strong. Why would I do it if I was ALWAYS sore?
I often hear trainers laugh about making their clients sore. I also hear friends brag about how sore they are. People often wear their soreness as a badge of honor. However, studies have shown that soreness itself (using a scale from 0 – 10 to assess the level or soreness) is poorly correlated as an indicator of muscle adaptation and growth. There are many factors that influence how soreness presents itself in individuals. There is great variability, even between people with smiliar genetics and even among highly trained athletes. It doesn’t mean that you are not getting as good of an enjoyout because you are not crippled the next day.
Back to the statement in the athleisure store – Sore today. Strong tomorrow. – It just isn’t true. We need to be nice to our bodies and treat them with respect. Now – might that include some challenging enjoyouts that leave you sore? Perhaps. But that should not happen all of the time. What I wish for myself and for every one of you is that you find something you enjoy and simply do it. Whether it is lifting super heavy weights or doing yoga or running or gardening. Move your body every day. And have fun while you are doing it. Enjoy every day!