WHAT IS MUSCLE PAIN OR RATHER MUSCLE DAMAGE
For the sake of simplicity, in this article I mean muscle pain the same as muscle damage. If you have a little muscle damage, you experience this as a little muscle pain and if you have a lot of muscle damage, you experience this in the form of a lot of muscle pain.
Muscle damage, or rather exercise-induced muscle damage , is perhaps the most commonly cited mechanism in gyms when it comes to muscle growth. Honestly say if you are the only one in the world who has never heard the following comment: “By strength training you cause damage to your muscles, you can feel that in the amount of muscle pain. Your body instructs the muscle cells to repair this damage and reinforces the structure even more to arm the body against the next workout. That is why you have to train a little harder to keep challenging the body. So when you no longer feel muscle pain, you have to train harder or start a new schedule… ”Now let’s be honest if you’ve never heard anything similar?
That heavier training is still valid, but this does not have to be accompanied by a lot of muscle pain. In fact, some scientists believe that the mechanism of muscle damage is not even necessary for muscle growth anymore. What used to be the leading mechanism for explaining muscle growth may not even apply now. Personally, I don’t think we should make a final decision without sufficient evidence. Science is progressing quickly and perhaps we can therefore say in a few years that muscle damage does not contribute to muscle growth. There are more and more studies that show that (a lot of) muscle damage is likely to be counterproductive.
AMOUNT OF MUSCLE DAMAGE AND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ECCENTRIC AND CONCENTRIC TRAINING
In the past, it was thought that muscle damage was necessary for muscle growth. This is partly because after the first training sessions, where muscle damage is highest, the amount of protein production is higher than after the subsequent training sessions. Protein production was also significantly higher with eccentric training (for example lowering the bar during the bench press) than with concentric training (pushing the bar up during the bench press) and it was thought that more muscle growth was possible through eccentric training. This turned out not to be the case. What is clear is that through eccentric training the muscle grows a little more in ‘length’ and through concentric training a little more in diameter (‘thickness’). The use of both forms during training is therefore strongly recommended. In practice, this is the case in 99.99% of the training sessions, so nothing to worry about. Coming back to muscle damage. More damage does not result in more muscle growth, in fact, it rather results in less muscle growth.
WHY MORE MUSCLE DAMAGE DOESN’T LEAD TO MORE MUSCLE GROWTH
The reason that more muscle damage does not lead to more muscle growth is actually simple. The body doesn’t care about extra muscle in the first place. Staying the same (homeostasis) is much more interesting for the body, because extra muscles only cost energy. When a muscle is damaged, the body only wants to do one thing: repair that damage. What does a muscle cell need for recovery? Indeed, proteins. Only after the damage has been repaired, the remaining proteins are used to build, for example, extra contractile units (muscle growth). In other words, the more often you do the same training and ensure sufficient mechanical tension, the muscle damage decreases per training. You will notice this yourself due to a decrease in the amount of muscle pain, the more often you do a workout. The number of proteins needed to repair the diminishing damage decreases and more protein remains to build extra muscle mass, despite perhaps slightly less protein being produced overall. The most important condition for growth is that a muscle receives enough growth signals (mechanical tension) to produce extra proteins. Without proteins there are no building blocks for your muscles. In short, the more often you do a workout (up to a certain height), the more your muscles will grow from it. The most important condition for growth is that a muscle receives enough growth signals (mechanical tension) to produce extra proteins. Without proteins there are no building blocks for your muscles. In short, the more often you do a workout (up to a certain height), the more your muscles will grow from it. The most important condition for growth is that a muscle receives enough growth signals (mechanical tension) to produce extra proteins. Without proteins there are no building blocks for your muscles. In short, the more often you do a workout (up to a certain height), the more your muscles will grow from it.
PRACTICE ‘OVERLOAD MANAGEMENT’
No muscle pain should not be the training goal, I think, because if you never exercise, you never have muscle pain. Do you know people who have become more muscular? I think it is best to use muscle pain as an evaluation tool and you should aim for a little muscle pain after each workout. Preferably an uncomfortable feeling in the muscles you trained when you tighten them the next day. Then you know that you have trained them well and that they have probably had enough stimuli to produce extra protein. A little bit of protein to repair your minimal muscle damage and the rest to actually grow your muscles.
If you always train with the same training intensity, the training effectiveness decreases, you will notice this in practice by having no muscle pain. If your training schedule grows with you, and you keep having a little muscle pain, you can be sure that you are going in the right direction. In short, muscle pain can still be the most important variable of a workout.