I am a 31 years old man. 76kg weight. 180cm tall and It is the third week that, I do body-building.

Usually when i do Barbell Squat or Deadlift, I sweat a lot and I breath fast. After exercise, I usually have pain in my legs or waist muscles.

However, when i do Pull ups, or military press, I do not sweat and I breath normally. But, my limitation comes from the power of my hands.I mean, after 9 or 10 repetitions, my hands don't have the power to do one more repetition. Then i should rest for 2-3 minutes and go for the next set.After the exercise, there is no pain on my shoulders.

During the last 3 weeks, I successfully lifted heavier weights during the military press. However, I have not seen that much pain which i observed on my legs and back.

My questions are:

  1. Is the fact, that I don't have pain after military press, shows that my exercise is not good enough? or Is light pain a sign of good exercise?
  2. Why during the Barbell Squat i sweat and breath harder than military press?
  • 2
    What kind of pain are you referring to? Is it the sensation that your muscles feel hard and it hurts to rub them? Or do you have pain in your joints? Because some types of pain are expected (though not necessary), and others are bad.
    – Alec
    Aug 1, 2020 at 14:03
  • @Alec it is pain in the muscles and not in joints. And it recovers after 1 or 2 days rest.
    – Jimmy
    Aug 2, 2020 at 9:54
  • 1
    That's called "Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness", or DOMS. For your first question, this is an almost identical question with some answers.
    – Alec
    Aug 2, 2020 at 13:46

2 Answers 2

  1. No, muscle fatigue doesn't have to be expressed by pain, usually a burning sensation in the muscle is a good feedback, but its not a must. About the Deltoid muscle pain ,which i assume you mean by "there is no pain on my shoulders". The Deltoid is a muscle that tends to use other muscles as assistance in heavy loaded exercises. If the feeling of burning in the muscle is what you are looking for, I would go for slow controlled lateral raises. You can even add them after the military press as an extra set.

  2. When comparing squats to military presses, squats put a heavier load on the body as a whole. Yes it targets mainly the legs, but your core works hard to stabilize your body, your back and hands work on holding the bar and all of that happens while your whole body moves up and down with many muscle groups actively working. While in military press the rest of the body does work to provide stability, but it's not as drastic as in the squat.


What you are describing is referred to as Delayed-Onset Muscular Soreness, or DOMS. Despite its ubiquity, the phenomenon is still not fully understood. However, amongst the many theories attempting to explain it, the literature suggests that delayed-onset soreness is most likely caused by a combination of muscle cell damage and acute inflammation.

The factors that contribute to the degree of soreness experienced are, by contrast, generally well understood—the most influential being:

  • the novelty of the exercise
  • its volume and intensity
  • the amount of eccentric loading involved, and
  • the size of the muscles involved

A high volume of moderate and eccentric loads tends to result in the greatest amount of subsequent soreness, particularly when exercise that is novel to the lifter. Smaller muscle groups tend to experience less delayed-onset soreness, possibly due to their (generally) greater fatigability—the consequence of their lacking coupled agonists and synergists that would allow the movement to continue.

It is notable that training protocol characterised accordingly is also closely associated with hypertrophy. Delayed-onset muscular soreness is therefore reasonably associate with hypertrophy.

However, the key to training effectively is not only to provide the ‘right’ stimulus, but to observe adequate recovery. It is the balance of stimulus to recovery, as described by the theory of super-compensation, that determines the effectiveness of our training. We should understand, therefore, that training is about proportion. Muscular soreness is not a good gauge of training effectiveness. Rather, it is a gauge of the optimal length of our recovery. We can train with high volume and intensity, resulting in signficant muscular soreness, then observe a longer recovery period. Or alternatively, and equally effectively, we can train with lower volume and intensity, resulting in only light muscular soreness, and train more often.

The second part of your question has a simple answer: the difference between a squat and a military press is the amount of physical work being performed, the size of the muscles groups being recruited, and consequently the amount of energy required to perform the action. Greater energy requires a greater amount of oxygen, and results in a greater amount of heat production.

I hope that helps.

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