Everyone has heard the motto “No pain, no gain,” which basically means the road to achievement runs only through hardship. It has certainly been a popular saying among competitive professionals for many years. Back in my early days of fitness training, that was all I needed to hear to get pumped up and ready for a workout. Easy enough, right? Well, yes and no.

When you develop the knowledge and learn the proper skills of weight training, you are bound to encounter some pain that will lead to a gain. This kind of pain is a natural response the body goes through when you place an overload on the muscles. The first “good pain” you will feel is the one that occurs at the end of a set. It starts as a slow burn when you are about 3/4 of the way done with your set and the pain slowly increases with each subsequent rep until the end when the pain is quite intense. This is actually considered a  good pain caused by the lactic acid buildup in your muscles. The reason this pain is good is that it’s an indicator that you are pushing yourself hard enough to cause muscle growth. Another good pain  is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), where tiny tears are formed by your muscles when you lift weights and the repair phase will cause most lifterposis to take the elevator instead of the stairs.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have what we call the “no good pain”. Generally speaking, any kind of pain that prevents you from performing at your best should be considered serious. Without overstating the obvious like chest, back and head pain, it’s considered less threatening if you have joint pain and bad muscular pain. This type of mistake can cause serious issues for an individual. Left undiagnosed and untreated, you will most definitely find yourself at the doctor’s office. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, any pain that is persistent and gradually worsening over a two-week period should be considered serious and examined by a physician.