Do you have to challenge yourself? Absolutely! But you don’t need to be in pain in order to see progress. This is probably one of the biggest myths of fitness.
The key is to challenge yourself without hurting yourself. People need to understand the difference between sore and pain. When experiencing discomfort, it is important to understand the difference between exercise-related muscular soreness and pain. Muscular soreness is a healthy and expected result of exercise. Pain is an unhealthy and abnormal response. Experiencing pain may be indicative of injury.