Archive for the tag - no gain

Myth: No Pain, No Gain.

"No pain, no gain" is a recipe for both injuries and unpleasant workouts.

Let’s change the way we look at exercise.

“No pain, no gain.” It’s probably the most quoted fitness proverb ever. It’s plastered on the wall of many gyms and instilled in the mindsets of most of us.

The quote has been credited to everyone from the poet Robbert Herrick to Ben Franklin, but it was brought into mainstream popularity by Jane Fonda during the early 1980s. In her workout videos, Fonda used the quote as catchphrase to encourage participants to work through the burn.

Today, “no pain, no gain” is a mantra for many gym enthusiasts. But here’s the thing: It’s not true – and it’s a dangerous mentality.

If you truly experience pain during exercise (and not the “burn” to which Jane Fonda was actually referring), then you should stop immediately.

There are two basic types of pain or soreness that exercisers experience. Injury-related soreness is what you’d feel during or immediately following an exercise. Obviously, this type of pain is something that will not result in any fitness gains – and could prove to be debilitating. If you work through the pain (as the adage might imply), you may exacerbate the scope of the injury. Delayed onset muscle soreness (called DOMS), on the other hand, is what you’d experience 12-48 hours after working out. It’s a good thing; it means your body is engaged in a process that will result in muscle gains or increased strength.

If you hold the idea that “pain” is a necessary ingredient in becoming physically fit, you’re selling yourself short; this notion paints exercise as an unpleasant experience. And if you are nodding your head in agreement, than you, too, have been fooled. There are a million creative ways to incorporate exercise into your life that are fun, enjoyable and yes, painless. Hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, ice skating and trampolining immediately come to mind. In fact, I even enjoy going to the gym, running and lifting – the exercises have a meditative quality for me. I look forward to my workouts.

I think it’s time to retire this adage of “no pain, no gain” from the collective human physique. It’s a dangerous idea that sets us up for injury – and, indeed, you can achieve your fitness goals while enjoying yourself and your exercise routine.

Here’s to gains without pain.