ZocdocAnswersIs it safe to continue to lift weights if I still feel sore?

Question

Is it safe to continue to lift weights if I still feel sore?

I started lifting weights with a friend of mine and have become very sore whenever I work out. He says I just have to work through the soreness and keep going. Is it safe for my muscles to work out when they are sore or should I wait for the pain to go away?

Answer

When you are first starting to lift weights seriously, there is always a risk that you will work yourself too hard and cause damage to your body. I highly recommend that you not do what your friend is telling you to do, which sounds dangerous and unnecessary. One possibility is that you may be lifting to heavy, and you may need to back off on the amount of weight that you are using in order to be less sore. Also, I would recommend alternating rest days with lifting days, at least at first, to give your body time to recover. You should never "work through" serious muscles soreness and pain, as these are your body's signs that it needs time to recover. One good strategy might be to alternate lifting days with cross training days. Cross training days are important, because they give your lifting muscles time to rest and because they also provide aerobic exercise, which has benefits for the heart that you do not get from weight lifting. You should talk with your primary care doctor before making any decisions. A professional trainer (not your friend) may also have good advice.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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