All You Need To Know About Muscle Soreness

Author: Joseph Krachenfels

Many weight training athletes routinely experience a mild to moderate degree of muscle soreness the day after training a specifically targeted muscle group. Many of these same weight training athletes commonly remark that they enjoy this feeling of muscle soreness because it is a sign that they have trained hard enough to produce results. But what is muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness is the result of minor damage to your muscles, ligaments, and or tendons caused by the application of stress (work) to your body, in this case in the form of weight resistance training. And while a certain degree of muscle soreness is inevitable, and is a sign that you have really trained intensely, if your muscle soreness is so severe that it interferes with your training then you are probably doing too much (Schwarzenegger 82).

Muscle soreness typically lasts for 2-3 days following a weight training workout and is usually worse 2 days after a workout. Muscle soreness lasting for more than 2-3 days after a workout is extensive and is either an indicator that you have trained to hard (intensely), are not properly conditioned for training at this level, and or are lacking in the areas of recuperation, nutrition, or supplementation. If your muscle soreness lasts for more than 2-3 days after a weight training session, and is the result of training to hard (intensely), be sure to ease up slightly on your next workout. If your muscle soreness is the result of being improperly conditioned for the training, which typically takes place when one tries to resume training where they left off after an extended layoff from training, you need to start out slower and gradually work your way back up. Muscle soreness attributed to inadequate recuperation, is best rectified by a good nights sleep and spacing your workouts out with more days of rest in between training sessions, to allow for maximum recuperation.

Lastly, extensive muscle soreness can also result due to inadequate nutrition or supplementation. Check to make sure that you are getting the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals each day. The best vitamins to combat muscle soreness are Vitamin C, (found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, and green peppers), Potassium, (found in whole and skim milk, bananas, prunes, raisins, and meats), and Zinc, (found in meat, liver, eggs, oysters, peanuts, and whole grains). In addition, be sure to consume plenty of water (Merck Manual).

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If you have any questions about the information contained in this article you can send an e-mail to:


The Merck Manual Seventeenth Edition, Merck Research Laboratories, 1999.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

Alfonso Duran, Director of Training