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Why Am I Not Sore After Workouts Anymore? 5 Possible Reasons For The Sudden Plateau

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For some reason, so many of us buy into the belief that feeling aggressively sore is the only indicator of an amazing, effective workout. Even after powering through what feels like a killer sweat sesh, once you wake up the next day not feeling sore at all, you automatically feel like maybe you just didn't push yourself hard enough. If you often find yourself wondering, “Why am I not sore after workouts anymore?” fear not, because you may not be doing anything wrong when it comes to your fitness routine.

Elite Daily reached out to Gregg D’Andrea, owner and founder of GSTARFIT, to find out whether this feeling is actually warranted. In his expert opinion, “You do not have to be sore post-workout [in order] to have had a good workout. That’s an ‘80s mentality and unfortunately has skewed the industry back to thinking you have to crush yourself in order to gain results.”

This prompted me to look into why so many people feel sore after some workouts. According to livestrong.com, feeling sore just a few hours after working out is known as “DOMS,” which is delayed onset muscle soreness. If you’ve ever struggled with muscle pain, in addition to your muscles feeling fragile and weak, you may know what I’m talking about. This can occur if you haven’t hit the gym in quite some time or if you plan your workouts a bit too aggressively (rather than pacing yourself). Your muscles can be damaged in the process.

But that may leave you wondering why you are not sore some of the other times you work out. You might be asking yourself, “Am I not working out hard enough?” One of these five reasons might explain why you're no longer feeling sore after strenuous exercise.

1. You may be eating a healthy, balanced diet.

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Eating healthier foods can make your body feel amazing, but perhaps you didn't know those same foods can play a role in how sore or not sore you're feeling after a quality workout. “Eating the right protein after you work out is key to repair and recovery,” Rebecca Louise, founder of fitness app BURN by Rebecca Louise, tells Elite Daily via email. “If you have added this into your routine, your muscles are getting what they need and able to bounce back much quicker.”

So clearly, a lack of soreness doesn't automatically mean you didn't challenge yourself. In reality, your body may be reacting positively to you providing it with quality fuel.

2. Your body may have adjusted to your workout routine.

After you’ve incorporated fitness as a regular part of your routine, your body might adjust quicker than you expected to this new lifestyle. According to Louise, “[When] you are feeling in great health and your body is working efficiently, it’s in a routine and your muscles are adjusting. Just like when you want to get up early, [those first few days may be a struggle, and you end up hitting the snooze button]. As soon as you make the [decision] to get up, you do this to create a habit for a week; your body knows when to wake up and you are not trying to get that five minutes in each morning.”

So listen to your body and its cues when it comes to any workout. Don't hesitate to take things down a notch if you're constantly spending days recovering from tough workouts, and don't stress if your muscles actually feel like they're in tip-top shape after a trip to the gym. After incorporating fitness into your daily or weekly routine, your body might not not feel sore.

3. You are probably getting the right amount of sleep your body and muscles require.

Getting quality rest does a lot more than simply make you a peppier and less grumpy human being. According to livestrong.com, a good night's sleep helps with releasing growth hormones, as well as tissue repair — both of which play important roles in restoring your muscles back to health. The article adds that when you are sleep-deprived, you're more likely to be sore after a workout because your glycogen levels will probably have dropped a bit as a result. (Your body utilizes glycogen to contract your muscles.) So the next time you're confused as to why you're not aggressively sore after that big workout you did the other day, focus on the fact that you may have had a restful night’s sleep.

4. Your body may be benefiting from stretching before your workouts.

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According to a piece published by Harvard Medical School, stretching helps your muscles maintain strength and flexibility. Without stretching out, you can damage your muscles or end up straining your joints. As per the article, stretching can keep your muscles flexible, and exercising will not lead to injury by overworking the muscle itself.

If you have a great post-workout stretching routine and you notice you're not spending days recovering your aching muscles, keep it up. Your body seems to respond well to it.

5. Good warm-ups before your workouts can be preventing soreness.

A lot of people may warm up before their actual workout instead of going in with a stiff body. According to the Mayo Clinic, a warmup may help cut down on your chance of getting injured and having sore muscles. And who wants to endure pain for days after hitting the gym?

You don’t need aches and pains to know you had a great workout. If you don’t feel sore, embrace the fact that you might actually be exercising in a healthy way.

Additional reporting by Alexa Mellardo.

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