Myth #3: The best indicators of a good workout are how tired you are after the workout and how sore you are the next day.
This is a myth my most dedicated athletes still have a tough time dismissing. Most hard-working individuals equate a good workout with being exhausted and sore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had athletes say, “You didn’t even make me puke” after a workout. My response is usually, “I didn’t make you puke because I didn’t want to make you puke. Making you puke would be easy. Getting you stronger, faster and more flexible actually takes some work.”
Puking is one of the most catabolic things you can do to your body. If your goals are increased muscular strength and/or muscular hypertrophy, you should do everything possible not to puke during your training!
Fatigue is another popular indicator people use to rate the productivity of their workouts. Remember that the goal of your training session should dictate how you feel after your workout. For example, if you’re going to perform a plyometric workout with the goal of improving your vertical jump,
you shouldn’t be exhausted after the workout.
Actually, a properly designed plyometric workout should stimulate your neuromuscular system and you should feel better than when you started the workout. On the other hand, it’s good to be exhausted after a tough practice that was designed to get you in “game shape” for your given sport.
Finally, I’ve never read any research that links post-exercise soreness to strength gains, hypertrophy gains or improved athletic performance. Who the hell wants to be sore anyway? Think of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as an unfortunate side effect of training, not a goal of training.
Remember that it’s easy for a coach to make an athlete tired, but it takes a true professional to get an athlete stronger, faster, more flexible and better conditioned.