Muscle Damage for Increased Performance
You’ve heard the saying; you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Well, making progress in the gym happens in a similar fashion. In order to make your muscles grow larger, get stronger, more powerful, or increase their endurance, you must first damage them.
Now, this doesn’t mean start hitting your biceps with a baseball bat and they’ll grow. In this case, muscle damage is the result of training your muscles to lift heavy weights (strength), move at high speeds (speed/power), or work for long periods of time (endurance). Any of these stimuli will cause small amounts of damage to the muscles, when properly overloaded.
With this muscle damage you can expect to feel muscle soreness for 24-48 hours after a workout. During this time of feeling “sore”, your body is healing and actually becoming stronger. This way you can handle more tensile load in the future, A.K.A. lift heavier weight, run faster, jump higher, and train for longer.
One final takeaway, if you’re looking to make significant progress from training, it’s important to understand the overload principle. In short, this principle states you will need to use a greater stressor each training session, because your body has adapted in order to handle the previous stimulus.
So the next time you head to the gym, court, field, or trail, think about what the goal is of your training session and decide if you are stressing (damaging) your muscles in the correct way and to the correct extent.
By: Dr. Rachel Jakubowski