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How do you know if you’ve had a good workout?

As I mentioned in my previous DOMS blog, lots of people assume that muscle soreness or DOMS the following day after training is a huge indicator of an ‘effective’ workout. Thinking, if you don’t finish your session absolutely drenched in sweat and feeling like you want to collapse that you didn’t have a “good workout”.


  • Training like this is NOT an effective way to reach your goals.
  • You shouldn’t be leaving the gym feeling bruised and battered.
  • You should ABSOLUTELY be taking rest days as part of your training plan!
  • Muscle soreness is NOT an indicator of a ‘good’ workout.
  • The calories your smart watch or cardio machine are telling you that you burnt are not all that important… and are often inaccurate!

The right signs of a good workout

  • Consistently getting stronger and improving your performance
  • Feeling good and energised when you leave the gym
  • Improving your form and technique
  • Feeling challenged… but not to an extreme where you feel like death post workout!

If your goals are to gain strength, increase muscle, shed body fat or improve the overall quality of your life, the best way to do this is:

  • Focus on perfect form and execution,
  • Track your weights and progress in the gym or at home,
  • Be consistent (week in, week out, month after month!),
  • Strive to get stronger / train a little bit harder each session.

The focus of your workouts should be to challenge your body hard enough to elicit a change, but not so hard that your body can’t adapt/grow/recover. Having a well structured phased/ periodised training programme and strength targets to work towards is KEY to doing the above correctly.