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No Pain, No Game? How to Listen to Your Body When 'New-Season Soreness' Hits

By Dr. Wendy LeBolt, Soccer Wire, 08/01/17, 4:30PM CDT

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Let’s face it, working out hard can hurt. Especially at the beginning of the season or the start of a new training program.

Let’s face it, working out hard can hurt. Especially at the beginning of the season or the start of a new training program.

While no pain, no gain, is never my mantra, discomfort generally comes with the package. Soreness means the body is doing something new and/or doing more of it than it’s used to. That’s how training happens.

The question is: How do we know what pain to welcome and what pain to avoid?

The discomfort that usually accompanies a new workout regimen is called “delayed onset muscle soreness” or DOMS, for short, because it gradually increases from 24-48 hours after activity. It’s the result of micro-tears to the muscle fibers that occur as part of normal, high-intensity training. Bodies respond to the physical onslaught by trying to repair the damage done. With proper time to rest and recover, the body adapts and is ready to go again.