Does Strength Training Have to Hurt in Order to Get Results?

Remember the old saying, “No pain, no gain?” Well, does strength training really have to hurt in order to get results?

Really, whoever came up with the saying used a poor choice of words. 

First things first, we need to make a distinction between discomfort and pain.

In order to get better/stronger/leaner/faster, you DO have to get out of your comfort zone. And, yes, you should push yourself to get there.

But – exercise should never be painful.

Most educated trainers and fitness pros are now educated enough to understand that pushing through the pain only leads to more pain … and worse, injury.



Here are a few exercises that every one of your workouts should have, in order to keep you safe, healthy and pain-free..

1. Dynamic Warmup

We can’t stress this enough — especially for those of us over 40! This is the part of the workout that many people skip, but it’s honestly the last thing that should be neglected.

Preparing your body for movement is the most important part of the workout. An effective dynamic warmup should encompass all the foundational movement patterns, increase the heart rate and tissue temperature and prepare the central nervous system for the activities ahead. NEVER SKIP THE WARMUP! 


Interested in some exercises you can do as warmups? Check out this article here.

2. Prehab

These are corrective exercises that strengthen often neglected muscle groups and promote soft tissue health in order to enhance the freedom of movement and prevent injury. Skip the prehab, and you’ll wind up in rehab instead.

At our studio, if we have a client that needs some prehab work, we build it right into their customized program right after their dynamic warm up.

3. Mobility

Stretching and mobility are not the same thing. Mobility exercises enhance the freedom of movement through the joints, whereas stretching involves muscle lengthening (read below). Both improve flexibility. Is one better than the other? No. Our bodies need both!

4. Cooldown 

Whereas the warmup involves dynamic movement, the cooldown is about calming the central nervous system, lowering the heart rate, and lengthening muscles through static stretching (i.e. holding positions and poses).

Setting aside a few minutes to cool down after a workout signals to the body that it’s time to start the recovery process.

A tough workout tears down muscle tissue. It’s during the rest and recovery between workouts when the rebuilding happens.



So our message today is: Don’t get caught up in the 80’s mentality of “no pain, no gain.” Does strength training have to hurt in order to get results? Absolutely not!

Incorporate the above steps before, during and after your workouts and you’ll be well on the way to healthy, pain-free gains💪🏼.