Does this sound like you?

"How do you feel after WODding this morning?" "Actually I feel fine.... Maybe I didn't deadlift enough..."

When starting CrossFit, one experiences great soreness, but partnered with the consistent gains of a new athlete. So, commonly, one associates one with the other. Soreness becomes the gold star of hard work well done and the sign of personal progress. But as the body adapts to the demands of a new training style, soreness becomes less intense or less frequent. This is often mistaken for a sign of not having done enough, trained hard enough. This mentality, revering the inability to walk comfortably up stairs or get up from your toilet seat, is misdirected.

Soreness, both DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), as well as the temporary diffuse "burn" you feel after a set of an exercise, in small doses are signs progress - they are signs of microscopic tears in your muscles that will lead to an adaptive healing process leaving you stronger. But the DOMS pain sensation is not necessary to gaining strength... so not feeling soreness does not mean you didn't do necessary work that will lead to future gains. On the other side of the equation, if you can't function (e.g. can barely lift your arms to put your shirt on or you shower like a dirty T-Rex) it is a sign of severe DOMS. Extreme DOMS is not a sign of bigger gains. Instead it limits your ability to train, function, and if not dealt with properly, can serve as a precursor to injury.

It is true - a some soreness on occasion is a good thing. But it is not a necessity, nor should it be the goal. If you do experience DOMS, remember to address it - don't take the day off, but instead do light movements with the muscle group and foam/lacrosse roll as necessary.