Muscle Soreness and Muscle Growth (“BROSCIENCE” REVEALED!)

  • Published: 19 July 2017
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    Muscle soreness and the importance or lack of it is one of the most contested aspects of working out. Some will argue that muscle soreness plays no role in muscle growth and is not a requirement for building muscle. While it might be easy to see why that conclusion was drawn, it fails to consider the fact that the other two mechanisms for growth are likely not going to provide an unending stimulus for new size. Ultimately, you are going to have to resort to other methods of training.

    In this video, I discuss the three major stimuli for creating muscle growth and for building new muscle. One of these is the use of eccentric loading in order to create mechanical damage to either the muscle fibers themselves or the connective tissue around the muscles (depending on which research you read). Either way, it is the mechanical disruption that takes place during the high tension lengthening of a muscle as in eccentric contraction that sparks the need for repair, resynthesis and regrowth.

    The downside to this mechanism of growth however is that the soreness that is created can ultimately impede your ability to perform your next workout or train with a high enough intensity to see much progress from your next workout. Which is why the argument is often made in error that you do not need to use this pathway. Instead, you can simply train with sub maximal loads and create a metabolic overload or you can pursue overload via getting stronger or by increasing your volume.

    It isn’t that easy however. You see, if you pursue the method of progressive overload you run into a wall within a rather short period of time. If the gains you are seeing for example are coming from neurological adaptations that are improving your ability to lift heavier weights, those will begin to slow down as soon as you become adequately efficient at performing the lift. From there, you will need to rely on the act of adding more weight to the bar to produce your strength gains and ultimately size gains.

    The problem with this assumption is that you will never be able to keep doing this on end. At some point your progress will slow dramatically and you will not be able to rely on new strength at every workout.

    This may lead you to turn to lighter loads and the metabolic overload that comes from training deep into the burn of a muscle while taking your sets to failure. Occlusion training is one of the more popular mechanisms of sparking growth along this metabolic pathway. The advantage of lighter loads is that you can take it easy on your joints while still seeing the benefits of new muscle gains. The downside? This type of training is brutal and downright uncomfortable. In order to do this right you have to embrace the pain that you feel during these sets and resist the urge to give in. Just at the moment when you want to stop your set is the time when the real benefits begin here.

    If moderate loads with higher volume becomes your tactic for gaining new muscle you need to be cautioned about that as well. As a physical therapist, I can tell you that the largest amount of gym training injuries and issues that keep people from training are due to overuse. High volume puts you on the fast track to experiencing that first hand. In fact, when you combine the fact that sub optimal form is used on many exercises that are being used for higher volume, it quickly becomes apparent why this can become a problem.

    The bottom line is, your training plan needs to incorporate all of these methods of growth. Saying that you will not need to create soreness to gain muscle is overlooking the fact that ultimately, you cannot continue to make gains without accessing all three pathways. This includes the eccentric overload and soreness inducing path of mechanical damage. If you are looking for a program that puts all of these techniques to use at the right times with the right loads, head to and use our program selector to find the program best suited to your physique goals.

    For more workout videos and ways to reduce muscle soreness after working out, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 2 202

    ATHLEAN-X™   9 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • LOL Guy
      LOL Guy  2 months back

      @Alchemia Official shit I have got the same question

    • Alchemia Official
      Alchemia Official  2 months back

      Question for Jeff: if I'm no longer getting sore from my workouts, does that mean I'm not growing?

    • Ronnie Ronson
      Ronnie Ronson  3 months back

      Von Chubbz why not just hit the bag for five minutes like everyone else lol I guarantee you’ll build way more cardio from that then some stupid HIT workout.

    • Von Chubbz
      Von Chubbz  6 months back

      If you are looking to start competing in combat sports, do you think🤔...
      there should be a training session where you train hard for 5 mins straight?
      (simulating the length of 1 round)
      only "resting" during the 5 mins.
      (when you're changing weights/exercises) maybe for 10-20 seconds in-between reps,
      (during the 5 min round simulation)
      The 10-20 seconds would kinda be like simulating transitions between "scrambles"
      Then after the continuous, brutal, 5 minute round, "fatigue training" -take a break for 60-120seconds?
      (simulating going back to your corner, between rounds)
      Everyone has heard:
      "train hard so the actual competing event seems easy"
      Or something like that.
      But. When I get tired, and my muscles are running on fumes, I've thought things like
      "I can't wait till this is over" or "why did I feel like this was a good idea"? or "this is the last time I ever do this"
      All because of extreme fatigue.
      Because my body feels like quitting.
      So I figured if I start training like I am going to compete, in this case: a fighting situation
      (go full out) as mentioned above,
      my body would respond better when needed (?)
      Do you think training like that is a good idea?
      🤔maybe once a week/month?

    • Thomas F.
      Thomas F.  7 months back

      @Shivendra Saxena simple answer: not at all.

  • Player 1
    Player 1  3 days back

    Im in a constant state of soreness. Im still sore from 21’s 5 weeks ago 😂😂

    • Adarsh Raghuram
      Adarsh Raghuram  5 days back

      Just realized I've been relying way too heavy on the the eccentric overload while possibly neglecting the first 2 methods. Time to get a program, time to bring in the Cavaliery

      • Alfredo Castillo
        Alfredo Castillo  5 days back

        I thought Jessy was going to cut Jeff’s shirt off because he’s always shirtless and couldn’t stand it anymore hahaha

        • Sean Herr
          Sean Herr  1 weeks back

          When I’m not sore anymore it tells me I need to do something different. I guarantee it is more control using the weight I’m lifting. Every-time. Once I get that fixed which usually is 1-2 weeks, I increase training loads by 5 lbs bench, 10lb squat, 10 lbs back. ;)

          • Joey007T
            Joey007T  3 weeks back

            First time seeing this video session.....(11:15 - 9/02/2019) I'm a 64 year old male...I used to work out when I was much younger and in the music business where esthetics meant quite a bit even if you were wearing a tuxedo on stage! I am no longer in the music business however, since I've began to workout again in my 60's, I've heard a lot of younger men state the same thing; that muscle soreness has nothing to do with muscle gain. I would respectfully beg to differ...I too believe that it does!

            • raz1
              raz1  3 weeks back

              You would think that u would lose some of that excess weight u fat bastard jeff, get to the gym

              • Ride Or Die Clash On
                Ride Or Die Clash On  3 weeks back

                Jeff please respond and help
                Is there a way I can make it so my body’s metabolism will naturally be fast like remodeling my genetics or something

                • Julianne
                  Julianne  3 weeks back

                  Ride Or Die Clash On I’m not Jeff, but what I did was I did a lot of H.I.I.T. and gained a lot of muscular mass, which is what increases your metabolism. Basically, be active, gain muscle mass by doing 6-8 reps of the heaviest weight you can, and it will increase your metabolism.

              • rob rick
                rob rick  4 weeks back

                Is this guy even a qualified Brofessor?
                Did he go to the same school as Dom?

                • Iain Bailey
                  Iain Bailey  4 weeks back

                  The feeling of being sore gives me motivation and gives me a sense of completion.

                  • Leglas. M
                    Leglas. M  1 months back

                    you tear muscle fibers, they grow back stronger to prevent that from happening again rinse and repeat

                    • Birki gts
                      Birki gts  1 months back

                      I like soreness because it feels good to go to be, the bed is cool, and my muscles all have a dull ache.

                      • Max Power
                        Max Power  1 months back

                        August 15 2019: watched, learned, rubber meets the road

                        • Ryan Scott
                          Ryan Scott  1 months back

                          Thanks for all the free help man. Really appreciate it. Seeing a lot of good progress on my side.

                          • Thabet Basheer
                            Thabet Basheer  1 months back

                            Does metabolic stress also increase strength?

                            • jonathan medina
                              jonathan medina  1 months back

                              Hi there Mr Cavalier. I want to know how to do a routine schedule for my workouts i dont know how to schedule a day for chest, bíceps, tríceps, leg, etc a little help please

                              • nirmal raj
                                nirmal raj  1 months back

                                He just roasted Vince

                                • Bo Jay
                                  Bo Jay  1 months back

                                  thank you Jeff you're the best and only trainer I follow

                                  • Matthew Howard
                                    Matthew Howard  1 months back

                                    Glad this was explained! Been questioning my non sore workout days! Saying I changed up doing drop sets more often and having only 3 heavy days. So far so good! Thanks!

                                    • Abhishek Vatsa
                                      Abhishek Vatsa  1 months back

                                      its really amazing of Jeff to tell so much of this kind of stuff for free.... keep it up Jeff...

                                      • John Stephan
                                        John Stephan  1 months back

                                        Jeff you left out the most important element for growing

                                        • John Stephan
                                          John Stephan  2 weeks back

                                          You're full of shit.

                                        • Haytch
                                          Haytch  2 weeks back

                                          John Stephan you don’t just rest to build muscle, that’s after you use one of the three ways

                                      • Saint Michael The Holy One

                                        Say I want to do some deadlifts on a leg day but back day is 2 days later, I will do concentric focused deadlifts so that I'm less sore in the upper back and arms come back day

                                        • Genuwine6799G
                                          Genuwine6799G  1 months back

                                          I’m sore right now but I love the feeling, today is rest day.
                                          Tomorrow.....I’m coming for you weights!

                                          • Alex Aladenika
                                            Alex Aladenika  2 months back

                                            So is "Bro Science" a thing or is it just a subtle way of saying " bullshit"?

                                            • master piece
                                              master piece  2 months back

                                              Actually the muscles tear apart more from consetric motion rather than in eccentric this is wrong to think that in eccentric you tear the muscle more because the muscles is under much more stress when you lift or pull all this happen when you trigger the muscles

                                              • Emilio Acevedo
                                                Emilio Acevedo  2 months back

                                                04:18 Max Headroom

                                                • the joker
                                                  the joker  2 months back

                                                  The worse is many people dont realize that all this information that he gives for free is too good to be true . Listen to the man . He knows hia craft

                                                  • Quentin Smith
                                                    Quentin Smith  2 months back

                                                    JEFFFFFF what is a good split of these three in a routine? Like a 12 week routine, what’s a good split?

                                                    • Caroline Caveness
                                                      Caroline Caveness  2 months back

                                                      So when you are sore when you wake up from a workout you did yesterday, do you work out again that day, or rest? Because I think that if you work out again that day, you are not giving your muscles a rest and breaking it down. (There fore killing your gains) But if you rest, your muscles will have tume to recover and be stronger the next time you work out. So, what I sm asking is, should you still work out when your body is sore from another workout?

                                                      • David Brooks
                                                        David Brooks  2 months back

                                                        Great summary on a balanced approach to weight training.

                                                        • David Evan Flores
                                                          David Evan Flores  2 months back

                                                          Jeff please go on Joe Rogan's podcast!

                                                          • Hal Schmidt
                                                            Hal Schmidt  2 months back

                                                            Dude I know you know what you're talking about...but where do I learn the jargon & scientific terminology behind the concepts being taught? Meaning, you're speaking a language I don't speak yet. How can I learn it? Help a brother out please.

                                                            • Victor Castro
                                                              Victor Castro  2 months back

                                                              When i lived in my moms garage around the age of 17. I got into lifting but only had about 100 pounds and a hammer curl bar with a door pull up bar. I would use the metabolic stress method. Basically the workout would be 50lbs curls shoulder press and behind the head tricep extensions and i wouldnt stop until i hit 200 reps of 10 or 12. I saw huge gains after about a year and after the second year i just hit a wall and it killed my motivation. Its crazy to see this stuff explained how easy it could have been to change my training to break through that wall.

                                                              • BoBo Baghinbagel
                                                                BoBo Baghinbagel  2 months back

                                                                I’ve been training for 3 months. Mostly upper body with squats. I feel like my barbell curl hasn’t increased in strength. I max at 35-40 pounds. Any tips from you guys on how to get stronger?

                                                                • CrazyGaming
                                                                  CrazyGaming  2 months back

                                                                  Good diet, eat before you head to the gym. Sleep.

                                                              • Modibe Rachamose
                                                                Modibe Rachamose  2 months back

                                                                Because of this channel, I can now grow muscle at will. I just have a problem with my shins. How do I grow those?

                                                                • Mike
                                                                  Mike  2 months back

                                                                  When i scroll for reading comments
                                                                  I face eccentric overload in my fingers ! 😆

                                                                  • Harris Al
                                                                    Harris Al  2 months back

                                                                    Amazing information. Thank you!

                                                                    • over seer
                                                                      over seer  2 months back

                                                                      So I don’t need to be sore. Is that what he said?

                                                                      • kefkapalazzo1
                                                                        kefkapalazzo1  2 months back

                                                                        this guys arms are something else i see ripped guys like 190-200 with similar arms

                                                                        • DME
                                                                          DME  2 months back

                                                                          I want to get muscle soreness but I don't get it while I train. I almost feel nothing

                                                                          • MrOfstring
                                                                            MrOfstring  2 months back

                                                                            Train harder and you'll feel it 1-4 days after your workout

                                                                        • Michele Molina
                                                                          Michele Molina  2 months back

                                                                          Should you train when you're sore? I don't mean "I can't walk" type sore, I mean the first few steps ache sore then I'm fine.

                                                                          • Andrew Freshwater
                                                                            Andrew Freshwater  2 months back

                                                                            I think not as the soreness is the muscle repairing damage. Letting it rest allows time for muscle growth...

                                                                            Thats if it's muscles rather than tendons etc...

                                                                            So much more to learn, best of luck on your journey.

                                                                        • Sean Sk
                                                                          Sean Sk  3 months back

                                                                          Dickhead u know shit

                                                                          • JohnProph
                                                                            JohnProph  3 months back

                                                                            by the time your progressive overload tension and volume have 'dried up' should be huge lol

                                                                            • W Altamirano
                                                                              W Altamirano  3 months back

                                                                              Real shit

                                                                              • PakiRaja
                                                                                PakiRaja  3 months back

                                                                                explosive positives, slow negatives, if it worked for dorian yates there must be some truth to it

                                                                                • Kiri Kiske
                                                                                  Kiri Kiske  3 months back

                                                                                  This bro is a real scientist.

                                                                                  • dadaaaada
                                                                                    dadaaaada  3 months back

                                                                                    Ive been training total body 4 days a week since January and I stopped feeling any muscle soreness I bought ax1 at the start of June since then I've felt muscle soreness in places I'd never even been aware of my only regret not buying the plan sooner

                                                                                    • Black Marble
                                                                                      Black Marble  3 months back

                                                                                      Bruh I did the volume thing and it burns the muscle nutrients. I lowered my volume and focused on the eccentric. Best thing that ever happened to my training game