Unless you have been on another planet your entire life, or somehow managed to tune out all the stupidity in this world, then you have heard somebody utter this phrase at some point. Albeit only a couple of actual, real scenarios, there are certainly times when this statement applies. I’m not here to talk about when this statement does apply, however. I’m here to talk about where it most certainly does NOT apply. As you may be able to guess, its exercise. Here is why….
Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There IS a difference between “burning” and “hurting,” and chances are you know the difference. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal, and, in fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn. Consequently, those people tend to be in the best shape, but that’s neither here nor there.
Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN. If you are feeling pain there is generally one of two explanations as to why. You are either A) doing the exercise incorrectly or B) suffering from a pre-existing injury. Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of either of these:
*Doing the exercise incorrectly: You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER doing the exercise. Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly. Typically will go away after a few days, but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.
*Suffering from an injury: This will hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise. It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all. You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle. This pain will last much longer than if you simply did an exercise incorrectly.
So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not taking advice from some idiot who tells me I need to push through pain. The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN. You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain. You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator. It just doesn’t work. So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!! Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and your trainer is telling you to push through it… Suck it up and keep going!!!! But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.
My Takeaway Message: If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing. If you can modify your exercise to eliminate it, by all means do so. If it hurts regardless, stop doing it. If what you’re feeling is just the burn of the exercise, then PUSH THROUGH AND KEEP GOING!!!
**If you’ve figured out how to tune out all of the stupidity in this world, as mentioned in the first paragraph above, please let me know.