I need to get some clarification on this. Do you have to be sore the day after your workouts to get anywhere? Also, if you're sore, is there any need to switch up workouts even if you've been doing them for 2 months? I have been doing the my current chest routine for 2 months, and I still get sore.
There is not and never has been a shred of evidence to link DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, with actual muscle growth. Some people get sore all the time, some people occasionally, and some never at all. Usually, the most soreness occurs when you return to training after a break, as many of you have experienced. You might even be able to remember the horrible soreness when you first started training and it was a total shock to your muscles. I can't remember back that far, but some of you should be able to! And soreness is very common when you try new exercises or techniques, or train much harder than usual. Most bodybuilders like to get sore. I sure do. To me it's a signal that I worked the muscle as hard as I could. Indirectly, that should translate to muscle growth. But as I said, there is no proof that it does. As far as switching up workouts, there is no rule about that other than this. If you aren't making any progress, whatever you are doing isn't working; so you need to change something. If you are making progress, keep doing what you're doing. I wouldn't gauge my progress by soreness, exactly. Especially in a case where I was trying to improve a specific muscle group, I would be looking for gains in that area. Pictures and the measuring tape should tell that story.
Mr. Harris, it seems everyone in the bodybuilding and physique world participates in and operates solely through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube Instagram, forums, blogs, Google Images, websites and Skype. Is that what it takes to get noticed and influence judges, collect trophies and move up in the competitive arena? I'm not convinced the self-promotion doesn't influence judges. I've seen the following several times. A competitor gets interviewed a few days before a contest and it's uploaded to a popular website such as Ironman, MD or RxMuscle. Then he wins his category and sometimes the overall title. The other scenario that seems fishy is where guys are spokesman for a company that's a major sponsor for a contest and the guy wins his category and sometimes the overall when his bod clearly isn't the best on stage that day.
The Internet and more recently, social media have indeed made it not only possible for athletes to promote themselves, but cheap and easy. In the old days, the only way a bodybuilder could get publicity and exposure was in the magazines. They were essentially at the mercy of editors and photographers. If they never showed an interest in you, then odds were nobody would ever know about you unless you won a national or pro competition. Nowadays, you don't even have to compete to promote yourself and get your name and images out there. Having your own website was the first major breakthrough in self-promotion, but now it's all about Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. It's not so important in terms of 'influencing judges,' because as I said, a lot of these people don't even compete or at least certainly aren't basing their careers on it. Self-promoting allows for other opportunities and sources of income, such as writing up workouts and diets, ad revenue from video views, and so on. I can explain how it also might seem how being interviewed by a major website or having a workout video appear on one prior to a win might seem odd, but it's not at all. Bodybuilding is really a small world where most of us know who the best amateurs and pro's are. Very often, the winner of any given national contest is someone who just barely missed winning last time. So it stands to reason that we will seek out the 'pre-contest favorites' leading up to these events and feature them on our web sites. It should be noted, however, that it isn't totally unheard of for a person to come out of nowhere, so to speak, and win. There are many examples, but at the 2012 USA Championships, a guy named Aaron Clark won. Not only was he the lightest man in the Heavyweight division at 201 pounds, but none of us in the industry had ever heard of him. Of course, many winners are guys who have been around and on the national scene for years already. Can being well-known influence judges? Perhaps, who's to say? When a weight class comes out with 30-40 physiques in it that are all pretty good, the judges have very little time to try and figure out who to focus on to get their top five. It's probably happened that someone they recognize might catch their eye. As for sponsors determining who the winners are, I don't buy that one for a minute, sorry. Here's the thing. Once you get to the highest levels of bodybuilding competition, everybody looks really good. We all have different tastes and ideals, so your idea of the best physique might very well be different from mine. It's purely subjective. So especially in cases where it comes down to two men who have different 'looks,' as in one might have better shape but isn't massive, and another's shape isn't the best but he's huge and ripped, a good portion of the fans will be upset no matter who wins. The judges do their best to get it right, and most of the time I think they do.
Have a great weekend!