There is a lot of talk devoted to “feeling the burn” when training. This is when you feel a substantial amount of pain and carry on exercising, as in some people’s estimation it won’t work if it doesn’t hurt. While there is some element of truth in this – if something is not physically demanding it is worthless as an exercise – it should not be confused with exercising on through the pain. If you pick up a weight and instantly feel pain, just carrying on is the worst thing you can do. In all likelihood, you have torn a muscle and need to stop.
When you have a demanding training regime the chances are you will pick up small muscle tears quite regularly. Muscles are made of quite flexible material which allows them the room to move without which they would be useless. As a result, major exertion will cause some tearing in the muscle, but there is a difference between types of tearing. Some repair themselves overnight if rested, but a larger one will take time and treatment. Exercising while carrying one of those will only aggravate it and eventually, it will stop you training or doing much at all.
While some people may view exercising on through an injury as a sign of commitment and strength, it will end up being just the opposite. Taking a rest every once in a while is a clear necessity, and taking one when you are too sore to continue is an absolute non-negotiable. Work smart – it is just as important as working hard in the long run.