Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Oxygen asked Pete McCall, MS, adjunct faculty of exercise science at San Diego Mesa College and an American Council on Exercise certified trainer, what makes a workout worth repeating.
“Follow a hard workout by an easy or moderate one,” McCall says. Most adults should complete no more than three high-intensity workouts a week.
Listen to your body
McCall says a little soreness in the muscles is OK, but it should subside within a day. Soreness that lasts three to four days or that occurs in the joints is a sign of injury.
Beyond adequate sleep, which is key to muscle growth, participate in activities that promote recovery. “If you’re sore, you can still exercise, but reduce the intensity and do something like moderate-intensity cardio or a yoga class,” McCall recommends.