We’ve all heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain,” but that doesn’t appear to be completely true for muscle growth. Muscle damage does not appear to be necessary for hypertrophy – therefore you don’t have to get sore to grow! Keep in mind, however, that you still need to train hard and try new exercises to grow which will more than likely result in soreness. Think of soreness as a side-effect rather than the goal. Check out our article, “What Causes Growth?” here for more info.
Reference: Wackerhage, H., Schoenfeld, B. J., Hamilton, D. L., Lehti, M., & Hulmi, J. J. (2018). Stimuli and sensors that initiate skeletal muscle hypertrophy following resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology.