• Courtney Ustrzycki

Sore Doesn't Equal Success

Just because you aren’t sore or exhausted after your workout does not mean your workout wasn’t effective. Some muscle soreness the next day might be a great feeling, but getting tired doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting better. Your body is always making changes. Whether you see them externally or not, something is always undergoing change inside your body. Think of the muscle fibres you tear after a strong workout, or the increase in blood flow to your heart and muscles. There is always something happening inside our body, and we need to focus on getting better at the gym, not just getting sore.


Getting better is what we want to achieve throughout proper strength training programming. This is how we get results. Lifting heavier weights, perfecting your form, or just wanting to improve your cardiovascular health. We want to focus on performance improvements over time, and we can achieve by adding more weight, completing more reps with the same weight, finishing the work in less time (usually with slightly less rest periods or just better efficiency) or modify the exercise and use a more challenging variation. As long as you’re using smart exercises and really focusing on improving your performance each and every rep, you will see the results you desire.


Improving your performance is a great tool to measure progress, because we know that the scale isn’t always the best indicator of that.


When my clients have seen just how empowering it can be to physically get stronger, they tend to get more excited than seeing the scale shift. Being able to lift over 200lbs of dead weight off the floor without risking a back injury, or squatting your body weight, are sure signs of strength, progress and motivation to improve. There is a time and a place for high-intensity exhausting workout, but if you’re feeling absolutely worse at the end of your workout than when you first started, maybe we need to revisit your training program and make sure that it’s aligned with your long-term goals.


Don’t measure progress by how sore you get in the gym; usually when you’re overly sore or exhausted, it’s your body’s way of telling you to take a rest, so you’re probably going a little too hard to be considered healthy. If you’re interested in setting up long-term custom training programming in the form of strength or powerlifting, please visit my coaching program page at www.courtneyforlife.com/coaching.


You can also email me (courtney.u@live.ca) if you have any questions about the information that you see on my site. Always remember to train smart!

© 2019 by Courtney Ustrzycki. Photos credit of Georges Schemagin (video) & Workout Magazine Mexico. All rights reserved.