How to know if you’re actually working out hard enough is a very important topic – especially since I recently opened the newspaper to see that an entire team of high school football players in Oregon wound up in the hospital after working out too hard. But rather than scare you away from exercising by telling you horror stories about football players, this section will teach you how to know when your body has had enough exercise to get results, or when it needs more.
How Sore Should You Be After A Workout? Muscles tear when you exercise, and when given proper recovery, they bounce back stronger. While the word “tearing” may sound like a very bad thing, it is in fact quite normal, and the tiny micro tears that occur in a muscle fiber are nothing like tearing your hair out, tearing your eyes, or tearing your skin.
Instead, these tears are completely necessary if you actually want to add lean muscle to either look better or boost your metabolism. However, if you do work out hard enough to actually stimulate these muscle advantages, the tearing does cause a little soreness. If there is absolutely no incidence of a little soreness, then you probably did not stimulate your muscles enough to get results.
Yes, that’s right, I said a little soreness. This is far different than being so sore that you are unable to move after a workout. If you can’t lift a fork to your mouth, turn the steering wheel on your car, or do the dishes, then you have gone too far with your muscle tearing. As a matter of fact, the medical term for excessive muscle tearing is “rhabdomyolysis” and this condition results in the release of muscle fiber contents (called myoglobin) into the bloodstream. This myoglobin is harmful to the kidneys and can result in kidney damage, extreme fatigue, intense joint and muscle pain, or seizures. Often, as in the case of the football players I mentioned earlier, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure from the excess inflammatory fluid build-up around the muscles.