Understanding the Difference Between Muscle Soreness and Overtraining
Do you know the difference between muscle soreness and overtraining? While they may seem similar, they are not one and the same. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a natural response to unfamiliar efforts that the body exerts. It is an important part of the body’s adaptation process if you want to improve strength and stamina within your muscles and build hypertrophy (an increase in lean muscle size). However, overtraining is a condition that occurs when someone has reached a plateau in their training or has noticed a drop in performance over time. It can result from your body not being able to sufficiently recover from training before the next workout on the same body part.
What type of exercise causes the most muscle soreness?
Eccentric muscle contractions are significant in this process (Baechle and Earle, 2006). These are forcefully contracting movements while the muscle lengthens, such as the downward motion of squats, push-ups, and the lowering phase of a bicep curl.
Now, let’s find out more about overtraining!
Overtraining is a condition that occurs when someone has reached a plateau in their training or has noticed a drop in performance over time. It can result from your body not being able to sufficiently recover from training before the next workout on the same body part.
The primary cause of overtraining is due to the lack of or failure to have rest days between sessions. Returning to training too soon after an injury, doing too many sessions per week, or continuously doing extensively long sessions can also lead to overtraining.
Preventing overtraining is crucial to avoid injury and plateaus and to improve overall performance. Incorporating rest days into your training regime is necessary and beneficial not only for muscle fibers to recover and replenish but also to gain strength, and improve muscle endurance, and size. Gradually increasing exercise intensity, eating properly, and getting adequate amounts of sleep are also important factors in preventing overtraining.
Conclusion: The Importance of Rest Days
We all know that prevention is more desirable than a cure. Therefore gradually increasing exercise intensity, eating properly and getting adequate amounts of sleep are just a few things we can adapt. Adopting these habits, it can help you reach your optimal physique, avoid injury and plateaus, and improve overall performance. Incorporating rest days into your training regime is necessary and beneficial not only for our muscle fibres to recover and replenish but to gain strength, and improve muscle endurance and size.
An injury is the first sign of fatigue in most situations in everyday life, whether it is too much work or too much exercise. Rest days are important because our bodies need to have a break in order to recuperate and improve.
Blaechle, T.R., & Earle, R.,W. (1992). Weight Training: Steps to Success Third Edition. USA: Leisure Press