Know When to Push Yourself, and When to Chill

Thursday November 9, 2017
Athlète à l'entraînement | Athlete pushing it hard

You’ve probably said it before: “Oh man, its leg day today!” or “Let’s go! Its chest day today.” Or “Boy howdy! Its *insert body part you’re going to focus on* day!” Sometimes we get so focused on a certain day, we push ourselves to the absolute limit, and we can feel the growth in our muscles! It feels great. But what doesn’t feel so great is the delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise commonly known as DOMS.

While DOMS is usually present following a workout, sometimes we feel pain during our workout. Sometimes we chalk it up to pushing ourselves to the max level, sometimes we push through. But that pain while you’re pumping iron isn’t always good.

If you feel a sharp shooting pain during your workout, especially in a joint or your lower back, there’s only one word to describe what you need to do:


You need to check your technique, as that is usually the problem. Make sure your form is perfect, and that you are doing the exercise as you’re supposed to be doing it. Now that we have established the proper technique, proceed with your workout.

Still feeling the pain?

Stop, and reassess what is going on. The technique is fine. Your form is golden. Maybe you’re going too fast? Try slowing down. We’re not talking at a snail’s pace, but do the exercise a little more slowly and thoughtfully. There’s no need to rush. As this is now figured out, proceed with lifting.

When lifting, if the pain does not go away, maybe you’re overextending your range of motion. You’re pushing your joints too far, and they’re telling you to stop. So stop, shake it off and make the movements of the exercise smaller. Don’t push so far when lifting. With smaller motions, you are still doing your heavy lifting, and it should feel great…

… but you still have pain in your joints and/or your lower back, eh?

Then stop that exercise completely for the day. You’ve experimented with your options for that particular exercise, and nothing is easing the pain. Do not push through the pain; you’re only going to get injured. 

Just remember, listening to your body and stopping an exercise due to pain is not wimping out.

Need an extra push when it comes to your overall workout routine? We invite you to try personal training! You can find a list of our personal trainers as well as the request form here.