The Major Problem With "No Pain, No Gain."

The motivational phrase “No Pain, No Gain” is as overused as it is inaccurate but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself to new limits and harder workouts.

No Pain, No Gain

We all have that one friend who will workout no matter what. They have the flu, they are exhausted, sleep-deprived, achy, snot-nosed and are still banging out 10 more reps on the leg press or one more mile on the treadmill. Blood, sweat, tears, or puke… nothing will stand in their way.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is the person who is perfectly comfortable with their weekly yoga class, 5 lb dumbbells, and steady state walking on the treadmill or magazine-reading while cycling. While it’s wonderful that this person has taken the first step towards a fitter life, these slow-paced activities aren’t going to challenge the body for very long.

The problem with the fitness enthusiast that pushes themselves beyond their maximum regularly is that they are overdoing it, inflicting pain and injury. More often than not, this can lead to a trip to a Sports Doctor or the Emergency Room.

What about the laid-back exerciser? The one who chats on their phone while strolling along the treadmill and moves from machine to machine without every breaking a sweat? Without boosting heart rate or challenging muscle groups then the benefits of that hour-long workout session are miniscule.

Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Make slow and steady progress by gradually increasing the demands you place on your body. Each week, choose a higher free weight or increase your resistance on a workout machine. Increase the speed on the treadmill and add an incline. Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your weekly exercise routine. Working out should never hurt or cause pain. Discomfort and fatigue are normal; pain is a sign that something is wrong.

Becoming a healthier, more active person requires you to find a balance between the hardcore mentality of “No Pain, No Gain” and the easygoing attitude of people who never push themselves beyond their limits.

2 Comments on The Problem With “No Pain, No Gain”

  1. smithlechelle
    June 11, 2014 at 9:28 am (4 years ago)

    I always envied those people having a great time reading while walking on the treadmill until I realized they never seemed to progress. And i absolutely love breaking a sweat and getting that heart rate up there! But it took some sketchy workout days for me to realize I could push it too far and “pain” wasn’t necessary.

    • Toned & Fit
      June 11, 2014 at 9:33 am (4 years ago)

      Exactly! I have arrived at a point where I watch someone reading while slowly cycling along and think “You are truly wasting your time.” Quick and dirty for the win. 20 minutes of sweat is perfect. 😉 Fatigue is great, pain is not.


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