Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is caused by micro-trauma (tiny microscopic tears) in your muscles, and is normally associated on the negative/eccentric phase which doing a repetition. Our bodies respond to this damage by rapidly rebuilding tissues, and decides that making them stronger will help prevent future soreness.
If an exercise is brand new to you, you may find yourself with some legitimate soreness; the kind that makes you give me a call and YELL at me for making you work so hard, OR the kind where you walk around like a zombie and dread stairs. Just as we associate a “pump” during training to be indicative of a good training session, we associate this muscle soreness with a good training session. LOL! cut that shit out!.. Being sore post workout means that you did something that your body wasn’t used to. It isn’t necessarily good, it isn’t necessarily bad. It’s just a new stimulus.
Having said that, there are a lot things that you can do to make you sore. This is one of them.
If you have a lot of training experience like me (I’ve got ten), you may find that nothing makes you sore. If you’re relatively new to training, you may find that everything makes you sore. Its all good.
I strongly believe that training should improve your quality of life, not worsen it. This means, incorporating new exercises strategically so that soreness is minimal and learning is maximal. Many of us see the best results by training the complete body more frequently, rather than relying on soreness once or twice per week.
So is muscle soreness an indicator of a good workout? In a word: nope. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a sign that you did something your muscles weren’t used to. Simple. That doesn’t necessarily mean you had an awesome workout, though.