Is it normal to be sore?  I am sore after training, is this normal?  Read on and we address the question and give you a few ways to reduce soreness. 

You just started training at OC and you are sore, this is normal.  What we want to do is limit how sore you get and slowly build up your capacity.  

Start the right way

How your fitness professional’s will help you at OC is when you get started you will start with an “on ramp” program.  This program will be one on one with a professional coach to ensure you are working but not getting so sore you can’t move.  

As you get used to working out, you won’t be as sore as often as your body will adjust to the activities you are doing.  

Soreness will happen to all of us even if you have been a long time OC member.  Sometimes after a vacation you will feel more sore, or after a more challenging workout, or maybe an exercise you haven’t completed in awhile.  Again all of this is completely normal.  

Extreme Soreness 

One of the many reasons we use an on ramp program is so that you don’t get extremely sore.  Extreme soreness can cause injury and illness.  This is extremely rare – especially when trained under the supervision of a qualified, credentialed coach. 

A good coach will always evaluate clients’ current fitness levels and prescribe only reasonable amounts of activity.  More sore doesn’t indicate a good workout, or mean that you are closer to your goals then not being sore. Trained fitness pros can also teach you how to do movements properly so you avoid joint pain and injury, which are not normal aspects of training.

What causes us to be sore? 

What causes muscle soreness, also referred to as “delayed onset muscle soreness” (or “DOMS” for short)?

Scientists explain that soreness is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle. Don’t worry: this exercise-induced stress to the muscle can be a good thing. Appropriate levels of exertion challenge the body. The body responds to that stress by repairing itself and adapting to be ready for similar and even greater challenges.  This process takes time – be patient with yourself! 


Great coaches understand exactly how to challenge muscles, connective tissue and physiological systems so they adapt to become stronger, more powerful and more efficient. An effective workout program balances appropriate stress with rest, recovery and nutrition to ensure the body is always improving itself.

As you become more experienced, you’ll start to recognize that certain low levels of soreness are just part of the process. And your coach will always check in with you and adjust training intensity to make sure your workouts are appropriate.

Now I am not ever sore?

Eventually, you might not get sore very often. And then you’ll probably ask, “Does that mean I’m not working hard enough?” The answer is that soreness doesn’t reflect the quality of the workout. A workout can make you fitter even if you aren’t sore afterward.

Here’s the bottom line: Fitness training has the potential to make your muscles sore, but a great coach will ensure that everything you do is safe and appropriate. As you get fitter, you won’t be as sore as often, but you still might feel mild soreness after certain workouts.

3 Ways to reduce soreness 

Walk. Low impact steady state activities like walking, improve blood flow and help reduce soreness.  A 15-20 minute walk the day after a challenging workout can help reduce the soreness in both the upper and lower body.  

Stay hydrated and increase salt intake.  Lots of time people will get sore and not think about consuming more water.  Or if they do consume more water they don’t increase their salt intake.  Both water and salt are great tools to help reduce soreness.  

Sleep more.  Humans need sleep to be at their best.  7-8 hours make a huge difference on how you feel and how you will recover.  If you have had a tough workout or a week of tough workouts, try to prioritize sleep and get an extra 30 to 60 minutes of sleep.  

Check in with your coach 

If you’re new to training or thinking about starting a fitness program, the best plan is to talk with an experienced coach about your history and goals. That coach will put together the perfect plan for you and ensure it’s adjusted regularly based on your feedback.

We sit down with all new clients to talk before they start training. We ask questions and we listen to your answers, then we tell you how we can help. We’ll answer all of your questions, too, so you feel comfortable. Once you start training, you won’t be on your own. Your coach will guide you, adjust your workouts and make sure you’re always on track.

If you have more questions about muscle soreness or anything else related to fitness and nutrition, book a free consultation with us here today!

OC opened in May, 2009. We have helped thousands of people get healthier and happier! OC is Central Oregon’s premier CrossFit, Personal Training and Sports Performance gym in Bend, Oregon.

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