At the beginning of your fitness journey, it is very likely you hated it more than a little. Being sore after workout causes you a lot of pain. When continuing on with your fitness journey you likely accepted or even welcomed it, for most of us this muscle soreness after workout says you have been working hard and are building greater amounts of muscles. Is this really the whole truth?
Honestly, no study says that hypertrophy and soreness are related. But don't stop reading right away; sore muscles after workout is still something to strive for because you do get many benefits from this state of being. Before we get into that, you need to know the root causes of muscle soreness or fatigue.
When you do any reps, a bench press, or even a squat you cause micro trauma to the fibers in your muscles. This trauma, which is caused by most strokes in exercise, is thought to be the source of muscle pain.
The repair process for these small or micro tears is though to makes the muscle grow larger. However the trauma applies to the force generating strands of the fiber known as fibrils. These strands cause muscle contractions by latching onto each other and pulling across. Controlling these movements with a negative rep stroke causes friction in these strands - this friction is an attempt to prevent energy, this is believed to be the cause of the micro trauma.
While this is a simplification of the idea, it is enough for you to have a rough understanding. This can cause the appearance of growth, but this growth after soreness is actually only in the myofibrils. Research is saying that most mass comes from sarcoplasmic expansion, the myofibrils do not seem to contribute much to the bilk at all. Instead this sarcoplasmic expansion comes from glycogen, ATP, Calcium, and other fluids stored within the fibers.
You may be wondering if this is the case, why you would still want to strive for muscle soreness after workout. The answer is simple, even small growths contribute to your overall bulk. For most of us, every small amount of mass we can generate is a victory. However, the biggest picture is that soreness burns more fat.
When you emphasize the eccentic reps and damage the myofibrils, your body will being attempting repair work as fast as it is able. Energy for this process comes from body fat. This actually burns a large amount of energy. This process benefits you for 48 hours or longer, because of the process taking several days aids in your getting leaner faster (It is worth noting that HIIT such as alternating sprints with slowed jogging, will damage the muscles during the intense points, in this case the sprints. This is why HIIT will burn more fat than a steady cardio, the muscle damage being the determining factor.)
You may wonder if negative only sets are the only way to get extra size and metabolic kick starts. While this is one way, X-centric or negative accentuating sets, are likely safer and a better way for you.
To do an X-centric set, select a weight with lower resistance than your 10Rm, then raise this weight within one second and spend six seconds lowering it. This cadence of one second in the positive / six seconds in the negative will do amazing things, the beginning is myofibrillar trauma that will cause workout soreness. At the end of your workout, remember that building myofibrils and raising your metabolism will aid the repair process with burning more fat. This should aid you in shouldering the post workout pain.
You can think of the sarcoplasmic expansion you gain as the second huge advantage here. Because of the seven second rep time, each set of eight reps should get you almost a whole sixty seconds of tension(eight reps at seven seconds each is 56 seconds). A 50 to 60 second TUT is something most bodybuilders will never achieve - this is sad because this stress is the optimal level for anabolic cascades and thus scales perfectly as you age. Steve Holman named this Old School New Body.
If you are training heavily, after your heavy pyramid you can do a set that is X-centric. To re-phrase, use this as a set to slowly back off.
If you are looking for more balanced poundage, mass building with a high fatigue level, such as the kind Steve Holman strives for with the Old School New Body method, X centric can be your last set sequence for your workout. Bring the amount of weight down and instead do a cadence of one-up-six-down. In addition to the muscle soreness after workout you will gain size and get the bonus of burning fat. Isn't this great?
Until we meet again, keep tuning yourself, be smart in your training, and work towards being Built for Life.
Originally published here: Tuning Up Your Body: The Science Behind Workout Soreness