How To Cope When Your Muscles Are Sore & You Want To Quit

The burn of muscle fatigue is powerful. It is an integral part of weightlifting for all strength sports.

The question becomes, what do you do when everything is sore, and the nagging voice in your head starts whispering, “Surely this is enough; we can quit now, right?”

As a coach, I have seen this happen, and today, we’ll talk about how to cope with the soreness both in session and afterward.

Active Recovery

Blood heals best. What I mean is that getting your blood flowing will help you feel better the fastest.

Active recovery is much more than just stretching on your off day. I like to take my warmup from the day before and go through it.

Then, I do some stretching to help alleviate the sore muscles. Some light cardio can also help get the body feeling better again.

Hydration and Nutrition

Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating enough high-quality nutrients.

Protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats are also important. A well-rounded diet plan will improve how your body feels while you’re performing.

healthy nutrition for fitness training

Mobility Work

Of course, along with active recovery and getting the blood flowing each day, this is also an optimal time to include some targeted mobility.

Incorporating stretches and locomotion into your routine will help lengthen the muscles and allow more access for transporting all the parts that make you sore out of the body.


By now, you’re likely thinking, that’s great for my off days, but what about now?

I’m in a session, my legs are still tired from the last session, and I have 8 more squats to get through.

You’re the only one getting the exact information your body is telling you. You have to listen to your body and adjust as necessary.

Programming intensity can vary day over day, depending on how you feel. Most days will be “do as the program says,” but there will be some days where you have to listen and reduce the load to progress.

lifting heavy weights in the gym

Mental Fortitude

Lifting is hard, as are bodyweight skills. Transforming your body is challenging. Developing mental strength is an integral part of the growth process.

Set realistic goals and cultivate a positive mindset. This will help you tell when you need to push and when you can pump the brakes.

A positive mindset and goals will also encourage you to bring perspective into the moment to determine if you’re really tired or if you just want an easy out.

Community Support

Finally, finding a community that understands what you are doing can help alert you when what you’re dealing with is normal or not.

It allows you to find new ways to alleviate muscle soreness and encourages you that you are not alone in this process. Even experienced lifters still run into soreness from specific sessions and learn how to move through them.

Muscle soreness is a part of the fitness journey, but it doesn’t have to be a stopping point.

You can spend some time on your rest days alleviating soreness through stretching, nutrition, and active recovery.

You can work on your fortitude in sessions by listening to your body, practicing mindfulness exercises, and finding a community to help guide you through.

Remember that soreness isn’t forever. With regular and effective training, soreness will not be a part of every session; it will eventually fade and only be a part of particularly difficult sessions.

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