We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Shape here on FitSugar.
If your New Year's resolution to get in shape stalled out fast, you might be panicking right about now since bikini season is right around the bend. Making up for lost time with an aggressive workout routine will likely leave you sore, but begging for more once you see your thighs trim down and take form.
That burn you feel 24 to 48 hours after an intense workout is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it's enough to make you want to put down the Kettlebell and pick up a cocktail. But press on! We talked to fitness and nutrition expert Harley Pasternak, M.Sc., author of The 5-Factor World Diet, and trainer to celebrities like Lady Gaga, Megan Fox, and Halle Berry, about why (some) pain is good.
"The idea behind resistance training is that you're basically tearing something and creating a micro trauma in the muscle," Pasternak says. "When the muscle recovers, it's going to recover stronger and denser than it was before." So that soreness you feel the day after an upper-body workout — when you're hauling groceries into your car and you can hardly lift your arms — is good.
Just make sure what you're suffering from is DOMS and not an injury. "A good way to tell the difference is if the pain is bilateral," Pasternak says. Having one very sore shoulder after you've worked both shoulders could spell injury.
If you feel normal soreness in a muscle, ligament, or tendon, it's DOMS and you can continue working out around it, Pasternak says. In the case of arms and shoulders, you can work your quads, abs, or glutes and then move back to your upper body in a few days.