Muscle Soreness and Muscle Growth (“BROSCIENCE” REVEALED!)

  • Published: 19 July 2017
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    Muscle soreness and the importance or lack of it is one of the most contested aspects of working out. Some will argue that muscle soreness plays no role in muscle growth and is not a requirement for building muscle. While it might be easy to see why that conclusion was drawn, it fails to consider the fact that the other two mechanisms for growth are likely not going to provide an unending stimulus for new size. Ultimately, you are going to have to resort to other methods of training.

    In this video, I discuss the three major stimuli for creating muscle growth and for building new muscle. One of these is the use of eccentric loading in order to create mechanical damage to either the muscle fibers themselves or the connective tissue around the muscles (depending on which research you read). Either way, it is the mechanical disruption that takes place during the high tension lengthening of a muscle as in eccentric contraction that sparks the need for repair, resynthesis and regrowth.

    The downside to this mechanism of growth however is that the soreness that is created can ultimately impede your ability to perform your next workout or train with a high enough intensity to see much progress from your next workout. Which is why the argument is often made in error that you do not need to use this pathway. Instead, you can simply train with sub maximal loads and create a metabolic overload or you can pursue overload via getting stronger or by increasing your volume.

    It isn’t that easy however. You see, if you pursue the method of progressive overload you run into a wall within a rather short period of time. If the gains you are seeing for example are coming from neurological adaptations that are improving your ability to lift heavier weights, those will begin to slow down as soon as you become adequately efficient at performing the lift. From there, you will need to rely on the act of adding more weight to the bar to produce your strength gains and ultimately size gains.

    The problem with this assumption is that you will never be able to keep doing this on end. At some point your progress will slow dramatically and you will not be able to rely on new strength at every workout.

    This may lead you to turn to lighter loads and the metabolic overload that comes from training deep into the burn of a muscle while taking your sets to failure. Occlusion training is one of the more popular mechanisms of sparking growth along this metabolic pathway. The advantage of lighter loads is that you can take it easy on your joints while still seeing the benefits of new muscle gains. The downside? This type of training is brutal and downright uncomfortable. In order to do this right you have to embrace the pain that you feel during these sets and resist the urge to give in. Just at the moment when you want to stop your set is the time when the real benefits begin here.

    If moderate loads with higher volume becomes your tactic for gaining new muscle you need to be cautioned about that as well. As a physical therapist, I can tell you that the largest amount of gym training injuries and issues that keep people from training are due to overuse. High volume puts you on the fast track to experiencing that first hand. In fact, when you combine the fact that sub optimal form is used on many exercises that are being used for higher volume, it quickly becomes apparent why this can become a problem.

    The bottom line is, your training plan needs to incorporate all of these methods of growth. Saying that you will not need to create soreness to gain muscle is overlooking the fact that ultimately, you cannot continue to make gains without accessing all three pathways. This includes the eccentric overload and soreness inducing path of mechanical damage. If you are looking for a program that puts all of these techniques to use at the right times with the right loads, head to and use our program selector to find the program best suited to your physique goals.

    For more workout videos and ways to reduce muscle soreness after working out, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 2 155

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • LOL Guy
      LOL Guy  21 hours back

      @Alchemia Official shit I have got the same question

    • Alchemia Official
      Alchemia Official  1 days back

      Question for Jeff: if I'm no longer getting sore from my workouts, does that mean I'm not growing?

    • Ronnie Ronson
      Ronnie Ronson  1 months back

      Von Chubbz why not just hit the bag for five minutes like everyone else lol I guarantee you’ll build way more cardio from that then some stupid HIT workout.

    • Von Chubbz
      Von Chubbz  4 months back

      If you are looking to start competing in combat sports, do you think🤔...
      there should be a training session where you train hard for 5 mins straight?
      (simulating the length of 1 round)
      only "resting" during the 5 mins.
      (when you're changing weights/exercises) maybe for 10-20 seconds in-between reps,
      (during the 5 min round simulation)
      The 10-20 seconds would kinda be like simulating transitions between "scrambles"
      Then after the continuous, brutal, 5 minute round, "fatigue training" -take a break for 60-120seconds?
      (simulating going back to your corner, between rounds)
      Everyone has heard:
      "train hard so the actual competing event seems easy"
      Or something like that.
      But. When I get tired, and my muscles are running on fumes, I've thought things like
      "I can't wait till this is over" or "why did I feel like this was a good idea"? or "this is the last time I ever do this"
      All because of extreme fatigue.
      Because my body feels like quitting.
      So I figured if I start training like I am going to compete, in this case: a fighting situation
      (go full out) as mentioned above,
      my body would respond better when needed (?)
      Do you think training like that is a good idea?
      🤔maybe once a week/month?

    • Thomas F.
      Thomas F.  5 months back

      @Shivendra Saxena simple answer: not at all.

  • Mohammad Shoaib
    Mohammad Shoaib  1 days back

    When i scroll for reading comments
    I face eccentric overload in my fingers ! 😆

    • Harris Al
      Harris Al  2 days back

      Amazing information. Thank you!

      • over seer
        over seer  5 days back

        So I don’t need to be sore. Is that what he said?

        • kefkapalazzo1
          kefkapalazzo1  5 days back

          this guys arms are something else i see ripped guys like 190-200 with similar arms

          • DME
            DME  6 days back

            I want to get muscle soreness but I don't get it while I train. I almost feel nothing

            • MrOfstring
              MrOfstring  3 days back

              Train harder and you'll feel it 1-4 days after your workout

          • Michele Molina
            Michele Molina  2 weeks back

            Should you train when you're sore? I don't mean "I can't walk" type sore, I mean the first few steps ache sore then I'm fine.

            • Andrew Freshwater
              Andrew Freshwater  2 weeks back

              I think not as the soreness is the muscle repairing damage. Letting it rest allows time for muscle growth...

              Thats if it's muscles rather than tendons etc...

              So much more to learn, best of luck on your journey.

          • Sean Sk
            Sean Sk  2 weeks back

            Dickhead u know shit

            • JohnProph
              JohnProph  3 weeks back

              by the time your progressive overload tension and volume have 'dried up' should be huge lol

              • W Altamirano
                W Altamirano  3 weeks back

                Real shit

                • PakiRaja
                  PakiRaja  3 weeks back

                  explosive positives, slow negatives, if it worked for dorian yates there must be some truth to it

                  • Kiri Kiske
                    Kiri Kiske  3 weeks back

                    This bro is a real scientist.

                    • dadaaaada
                      dadaaaada  3 weeks back

                      Ive been training total body 4 days a week since January and I stopped feeling any muscle soreness I bought ax1 at the start of June since then I've felt muscle soreness in places I'd never even been aware of my only regret not buying the plan sooner

                      • Black Marble
                        Black Marble  3 weeks back

                        Bruh I did the volume thing and it burns the muscle nutrients. I lowered my volume and focused on the eccentric. Best thing that ever happened to my training game

                      • Christobal Flores
                        Christobal Flores  4 weeks back

                        I guess I watch a lot of your videos. This is so true the body can't be under stress overload every week that you're in the gym. When I do my concentric and eccentric exercise I make sure I pause and go with a slow steady rhythm. This not only allows the muscle to feel the burn but you're stretching out all those extended muscle fibers. That most of that time cause the tearing for growth to come. I usually start with a warm-up set first and go heavy with two rep max. Then depending on that week either I go high volume lightweight. Or heavyweight lower volume.

                        • Jun Villanueva
                          Jun Villanueva  4 weeks back

                          I just love all the comments but jeff is my hero.

                          • Goddamn it YouTube Let me change my name

                            This man is genius

                            • dopened
                              dopened  1 months back

                              Mixing them all in a smart way is the key imo

                              • Koba 101
                                Koba 101  1 months back

                                He Went full Vsauce on us

                                • ChanoPokes
                                  ChanoPokes  1 months back

                                  Recently I have been doing 12/10/8/6 sets with the last 3 being negatives on all 4.
                                  Also mix in 20/12/6/4 sets with big weights jumps
                                  I believe these hit all 3 on the list

                                  • Varun Singh
                                    Varun Singh  1 months back

                                    Then what do I do?

                                    • Goria Akash
                                      Goria Akash  1 months back

                                      “BS” can stand for “bullshit” or “bro science” or bachelor of science 🤔🤔

                                      • Unknown YouTube User
                                        Unknown YouTube User  1 months back

                                        Jeff is actually lively and energetic in his videos, it’s so easy to tell if he’s faking a boring tone of voice

                                        • John Kostaras
                                          John Kostaras  1 months back

                                          I like how broscience has become synonymous with bullsh*t

                                          • Brad Serafin
                                            Brad Serafin  1 months back

                                            Fuck yea bro

                                            • SoCal Justice Warrior
                                              SoCal Justice Warrior  1 months back

                                              My mother has Fibromyalgia. Until recently she was jacked for no reason.

                                              • J Casey
                                                J Casey  1 months back

                                                What are your thoughts about the use of post workout ice baths to relieve joint/muscle soreness?

                                                • J Casey
                                                  J Casey  1 months back

                                                  @Koning Hassan XVI My son's football team uses it regularly and they claim it is quite effective.

                                                • Koning Hassan XVI
                                                  Koning Hassan XVI  1 months back

                                                  I believe he said earlier that it's not scientifically backed.

                                              • Pete Jameston
                                                Pete Jameston  1 months back

                                                Hey Jeff I started lifting with tendinitis and Carpal tunnel in my left arm. You teaching how to use the proper form has allowed me to continue to lift. Sure there's pain but I'm able to go again daily. Thankyou for your chanel.

                                                • thisbarb
                                                  thisbarb  2 months back

                                                  I love when you have cold opens.

                                                  • Michael Soto
                                                    Michael Soto  2 months back

                                                    Is ther anything my girl can take while she sleeps too help her recover at her workout she runs a lot. 5 days a week using an app monday thru Friday but everyday she is obviously more sore anything during her sleep to help reduce that pain faster recovery?

                                                    • Red Baron
                                                      Red Baron  2 months back

                                                      I’ve only been working out for just over 3 months and I’m trying to cut weight at the moment, so I’m doing 4 days of hit and 2 days of weights. How long should I be looking at to increase the weight when lifting?

                                                      • MPS
                                                        MPS  2 months back

                                                        The comments 😂

                                                        • Swinging The Hammer
                                                          Swinging The Hammer  2 months back

                                                          Jeff, the guy who single handedly made Chuck Norris's cry.

                                                        • Swinging The Hammer
                                                          Swinging The Hammer  2 months back

                                                          This was a good one Jeff. I didnt realize soreness only came from eccentric exercise. This is very helpful to think of the different mechanisms for muscle growth rather than simply focusing on progressive overload.

                                                          • Rivaldo Riyanto
                                                            Rivaldo Riyanto  2 months back

                                                            this is the most anti bro channel ever. love it !!!

                                                            • Alexander Terminassian
                                                              Alexander Terminassian  2 months back

                                                              I believe that the occlusion method is along the lines of what was taught by a late Russian professor Siluyanov, he referred to it as a SLOW MUSCLE STIMULATION or MUSCLE OXIDIZATION the only objection that I had that in his opinion ( or such was my perception) he considered the old methods somewhat obsolete.........

                                                              • Dakota Valdes
                                                                Dakota Valdes  2 months back

                                                                Should have been a special operations operator, or provider for one of the organization

                                                                • Brian Joseph
                                                                  Brian Joseph  2 months back

                                                                  That first 30 seconds has me creased lol love it. 🤣

                                                                  • Jerry G
                                                                    Jerry G  2 months back

                                                                    Hi Jeff love your vids. I have a herniated discs in my L4. L5 and S1. Could you do some videos for ppl with this problem maybe some safe exercises or ways to modify existing ones? Thanks

                                                                    • Antonio Frederick
                                                                      Antonio Frederick  2 months back

                                                                      How often should anyone train per week

                                                                      • 0x 73636f7474
                                                                        0x 73636f7474  2 months back

                                                                        What's the best way to warm up before doing wait training, as cardio is best done after the workout or even on a different day?

                                                                        • Hristo Naydenov
                                                                          Hristo Naydenov  2 months back

                                                                          Great content, even greater comments section.

                                                                          • raymund usi
                                                                            raymund usi  2 months back

                                                                            I always get post workout muscle sore every time I did not visited a gym for a long time and when I increase the weight of my workout by a level. Its painful whenever I move but at the same time it felt good, maybe I am a masochist

                                                                            • 60mdl
                                                                              60mdl  3 months back

                                                                              This man is probably the single most expert/reliable person on the internet regarding essentially EVERYTHING TIED TO TRAINING. I'm a physician, very well schooled in this field,  although I tend to use a machine/ free weight combo, I think Jeff knows exactly all the factors this case hypertrophy.  Kaatsu started occlusion training. He unequivocally proved the "burn to death" component of hypertrophy. Arthur Jones, a genius, inventor of Nautilus machines in the 70's, was really the first man to understand the importance of intensity OF EFFORT in bodybuilding, but he AMPLY showed the importance of NEGATIVE TRAINING.  IE  DOMS  ie  how important it is, assuming you don'texceed your recovery abilities. Look uo the Colorado Experiment ( Casey Viator ).. mostly negative training : caveat ... genetic freak, and Yes he was on steroids.So bottom line : listen to Jeff.  And remember...if you don't really push yourself to limits... you will not maximize your gains.LIMITS are probably very far away from what most people think is hard.Just a few words of advice for natural bodybuilders.

                                                                              • Nehemiah Millard
                                                                                Nehemiah Millard  3 months back

                                                                                Hey Jeff could you make a workout for speed-skaters like me

                                                                                • PussyFaggot
                                                                                  PussyFaggot  3 months back

                                                                                  What happens when you are lifting the most weight you can at a high volume and you are already using the two methods to increase gains? Where do you go next?

                                                                                  • Art A
                                                                                    Art A  3 months back

                                                                                    Jeff you’re amazing! Thank you.

                                                                                    • Jeff the killer
                                                                                      Jeff the killer  3 months back

                                                                                      No pain no gain