I am trying to avoid injuries at all costs while still training for strength. I seem not to have the greatest recovery ability (42 yr male, healthy but unable to sleep more than 6 hours a day on average).

I work out once every four days (I was training once every three days but thanks to this useful site I became aware a month ago that it was too much for me). But even now, the night before the next strength training I can still press hard on my muscles and feel some light soreness.

It is not pain. And I need to press hard with a finger in order to feel that soreness. But it is there, perhaps signaling that my muscles have not yet recovered. Does that mean I am overtraining? I monitor other variables, like my RHR, that usually rises a bit each day before a workout but returns to normal one day later.

  • 1
    Nope. You don't need to wait until your muscles are 100% of soreness. BTW, is there any reason working out every 3 days is too much for you? Feb 20, 2015 at 20:12
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD Because I returned from an incidental two-week pause and found myself fully energyzed, stronger and able to increase my reps in an unexpected amount. Then I decided to insert an additional rest day between workouts and it has worked like a charm. (By the way, nice name, I have laughed aloud suddently after remembering where it comes from, i.ie. that Superman II scene)
    – Mephisto
    Feb 20, 2015 at 20:15
  • As long as it works for you, that's good. Do you have a specific goal in mind: strength training, hypertrophy, looking good? Feb 20, 2015 at 20:17
  • possible duplicate of Is it healthy to exercise a muscle when it's still sore?
    – Eric
    Feb 20, 2015 at 20:20
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    Google "Grease The Groove" on how to make bodyweight exercises a daily affair without much soreness :). I think it'll tremendously help you. Feb 20, 2015 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


Muscle soreness is not an indicator of overtraining. Go ahead and work out.

  • Thanks! I may seem a bit paranoid, but perhaps you might remember how I hurted myself a couple of years ago... Multiple tendinitis and eventually a whole SLAP tear in a shoulder... I learnt my lesson...
    – Mephisto
    Feb 20, 2015 at 20:12
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    @Mephisto Remember that your recovery ability is not a static target. You should try working out more frequently and see how you feel. The key is to notice and keep track of the signs of overtraining. Feb 20, 2015 at 20:36
  • I try to achieve a system as independent as possible from my subjectivity. One of my conclusions from my past injuries is that perhaps I lack proprioception or something, because it is very easy for me to push too hard and realize it only when it is too late. You should see how I am programming now each workout with a spreadseet, 3RM and total work estimates in order to progress in a slow, safe pace... How I monitor my heart rate, sleep times, bodyweigth... I should write a book.
    – Mephisto
    Feb 20, 2015 at 21:55
  • Apart from anomalous rest hear rate, disrupted sleep and progress plateaus, are there any other signs I should try to detect?
    – Mephisto
    Feb 20, 2015 at 22:00
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    @Mephisto There are plenty. Joint soreness, lethargy, inability to get warmed up during training, trouble waking up. But that's it's own question. Feb 25, 2015 at 7:39

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