I’m Not Sore… Am I Doing it Wrong?

Kara in Texas writes… “So I did my 3rd workout of yours this morning, and I haven’t felt sore or anything.  Am I doing it wrong?  I’m really excited to try this, thank you for getting back to me!” Much has been written on soreness. Some believe very strongly that if you aren’t sore, then you didn’t work hard enough and you wasted your time; a workout that doesn’t hurt you is pointless. We here at Fit2B Studio don’t believe that soreness is the litmust test of a good workout anymore than a skinned knee is the sign of a good playdate.

Bethany wrote back… Hi Kara, My hope is that you won’t be sore much at all while your progress through this initial phase. Soreness can be a terrible thing for a mother, because we have so much to do every day. I want to get my members away from thinking that soreness is a sign of a good workout.

Signs of a healthy, wholesome workout include:

  • Muscles that feel more alive and maybe slightly tired but not necessarily sore.
  • A feeling of accomplishment and confidence and relaxation.
  • The knowledge that you could do the workout AGAIN right way if you wanted to.
  • A deeper mind and body connection.
  • A heightened awareness and more energy as your oxygen levels have increased.
  • A better night’s sleep
  • PROGRESS!!! You can measure the positive changes over time.
  • What else have YOU noticed after a workout that leaves you feeling invigorated, not injured? Please comment!


I work with the most special population on the planet: Mothers. We are sleep-deprived, broken down from birth and dealing with diastasis recti. We are responsible for a million little details every day, and we need to be ready to lurch and lunge for our kids who – we swear – have a death wish until age four. On top of all that we grocery shop, ferry kids back and forth, make appointments, memorize health histories, and if you have a newborn, you are feeding them for 11 hours a day on average! Moms do not have time, energy or healing properties – quite frankly many moms are downright malnourished – to keep up with soreness! We are too busy patching up our kids’ boo-boos to be mindful of our own.

Your workout should leave you with enough energy for LIFE!

I said how tired we are, right? I already said that… See? I am NOT complaining. I’ve got mommy-brain, too! I love my life as a mom. I also kind of like a little soreness here and there after a good hard workout, but sometimes I think I know my limits, and I push, and I’m tired, and I’ve hurt myself… not because my alignment was wrong, but because the energy simply wasn’t there to support my “normal” level of exertion.

I LOVE that the fit2B workouts give me that “hey, I used those muscles, and I can feel them today, but I’m not in pain” feeling, but not the “ohhhh myyyyyy word,….how am I going to pick up J. today, I don’t want to move, make it stop! I can’t do my life, I’m actually afraid to carry my baby down the stairs” feeling.” -Debbie R.

Tired muscles are prone to more soreness, and tired muscles are more easily injured. Moms are often so tired, that feeling exhausted is their new normal. So my goal is never to make a mom sore, but make a mom strong. I do my very best to keep things simple and safe, yet progressive. I’m not saying all soreness is bad, but the average non-exerciser or beginner exercise has a hard time distinguishing between lactic acid buildup and pain that is waving a red flag to stop. If a trainer is constantly encouraging “the burn” and talking about “how sweet it is to hurt” like this article I wrote here {click!} but they aren’t teaching you how to tune into your body’s signs to slow down, you may have a masochistic trainer on your hands. Have them read this {click} and also this {click}

Here are some things to be mindful of when it comes to soreness:

  1. Continual soreness is more about poor nutrition than a good workout. It means you weren’t fueled well enough for the load of work you subjected your muscles to, and now there is residual byproducts of inefficient energy breakdown left hanging around in your muscles. Drink more water, and balance your protein and carbohydrate intake before and after your strenuous routines… this includes sprinting for kids who escape you in the parking lots. Did you know that berries can reduce post-workout soreness
  2. Soreness should be felt in the belly or middle of a muscle, not in the ends or joints or connections of a muscle. If your joints are sore, it means you did put a lot of energy into bad alignment. Your body should feel BETTER after a workout, not worse. If you are waking up stiff and crackly all the time, you need to join Fit2B long enough to at least watch our “Align it Flat” video which is about how you get a flatter belly through better alignment… it’s not about flat backs. We don’t want those!
  3. Occasional soreness when you FIRST go back to exercising is normal and expected. It will feel like a light bruise or tenderness in the middle of your muscles. Massaging it with your hands, drinking lots of water and doing some gentle stretches should help. If soreness persists, AGAIN THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING, and if it’s been longer than 1-2 weeks of continual discomfort, and you’ve stopped the move that aggravated your muscle/joint, and the pain is still there, it’s time to talk to a physical therapist or chiropractor.
  4. Want to add anything? Comment below! I love a good discussion, and I’m open to new research!

You will move forward. You will feel it. You will get stronger, but it will be the kind of strong that empowers you to go from a dead sleep to fully awake and catching puke at 2:27 a.m. It will be the kind of strong that lets you pack your kid on a hike. It will be the kind of strong that doesn’t leave you limping but LAUGHING with joy at this wonderful, beautiful life you have been given. It’s the kind of strong that lets you jump on a trampoline without, eh, side effects. Try a gentle workout NOW that will only take 10 minutes and – while you MIGHT be a little sore because it directly targets a core muscle that RARELY gets used – I promise you’ll feel energized and amazed when you’re done!

Unsore {is that a word?} Testimonies!

“I’ve been slowly working back into workouts and (as previous stated before) challenged myself to do 30 days of routines. Anyway, I realized today that one HUGE benefit that is completely unrelated to working out with the different routines…I sing better!! The last time I sang in a production of Handel’s Messiah, I had to really struggle to sustain my breath for long notes and it was even worse singing the first soprano notes…I noticed tonight at practice that I was easily able to hit notes that previously gave me trouble and had an easy time sustaining my breath!” -RuthAnn M.

“This is one of the things I love about Fit2B…lack of pain. I have always hated exercising because of the pain for days afterwards. Now I don’t mind doing the workouts. I know my muscles are stronger, but I’m not sore for days after.” -Jennifer S.

“For so long I was afraid to exercise because I didn’t know what was helpful and what was damaging. And what pain was “good” or “bad”. When I do a fit2b video I always feel GOOD. I feel stronger, more empowered, and healthy. And I am healthier physically now than I have been in years. I still have a long ways to go, but I now I am not afraid of exercise. I am not afraid to run with my kids when we are out for a walk. I am not afraid to take my three little kids hiking on my own. And I am excited to exercise and get my body moving. Fit2b has changed my life, and my families life.” -Holly J.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis. I can tell the difference between soreness and pain. Pain is the “oh no, this brought on a flare-up” feeling I’ve had after other workouts. What I’m feeling now, after moving up another level the last two days and working my hips, glutes and leg muscles harder than I ever had in my life, is the satisfying feeling of working my body and gaining strength like I’ve never had before!” -Emily U.


4 thoughts on “I’m Not Sore… Am I Doing it Wrong?

  1. Dede says:

    Wow! sounds like my kind of day/life, you just need to add in home schooling and being an Army wife. Bu, to be honest, I enjoy the soreness even after having 5 kids and still BF #5. There is just something about the “high” of being sore and knowing that I can still push myself to my limit and beyond if I feel the need to.

    • bethanylearn says:

      Yes, I totally get what you’re saying about the high of soreness. For an advanced exerciser that knows her limits, that’s fine. However, most of my members are just beginning afters months or even years of being totally sedentary. That, or they’re moms who still have jelly bellies and any soreness in that area could mean that they’ve made their diastasis separation worse. Also, many people can’t differentiate muscle soreness from muscle pain and injury. I mean, have you ever tried to explain the difference? What should basic, healthy “soreness” feel like? It’s hard to define to someone who is just re-establishing their mind body connection. Also, for the beginner exerciser, soreness is a deterrent not a delight. It’s a negative connection to make with exercise. However, if simple exercise feels good, they’ll keep at it! Later down the road, they’ll learn what you have: That a little soreness (emphasis on little) in the right spots can be affirming. But we’re not there yet 🙂

  2. Pingback: November 30-Day Walking Gratitude Challenge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.