A new study by the University of Illinois found that young, physically active women who were told that they could tolerate workout pain actually felt better. This concept is called “self efficacy” and with it, pain is something to be mastered.
The study said that self-efficacy can be boosted by witnessing a friend or someone similar to you succeed at the physical accomplishment. I think this is probably a deep, primitive response â€“ competition stirring the adrenaline.
I work with a college basketball team. When the freshman begin, they constantly come to me with aches and pains. But, an increase in exercise intensity is going to cause some discomfort. But their "chest pains" are really "out of shape" pains. Their "shoulder pains" are just muscle soreness. I think as you become more and more experienced with exercise, you come to understand the difference between exercise-induced discomfort, and real injury pain. And yes, those incoming freshman are inspired by watching the older women achieve and perform, and soon will find themselves on the same level, doing the things they originally that they couldn't do.
Is pain really the word? I've always heard that if it hurts you should stop. Soreness, yes. Every day! But I'm not sure we should push past our limits into actual pain. Discomfort, okay, but no pain. Please.