The short answer is no. If you’ve been training for at least a few months, then you’re muscles should be conditioned to the stress loads you put them through. Of course, there are those times when you get so sore you wish you skipped that workout. But, that’s how training goes. If you’re trying a new exercise or switching a variable (like rest period, rep and/or set schemes, etc), most likely you’ll get sore. But, it’s never a requirement of having had a good workout.
If you’re always sore after a workout, it’s usually one or more of these factors:
▶️ you’re doing too much; over exerting the muscle(s)
▶️ lacking sufficient sleep and/or recovery methods (a well-rested muscle will grow and be stronger the next time you hit it)
▶️ or lacking the proper nutrition, whether it’s just the foods you’re consuming (or not), or a combination of vitamins & supplements that need to be looked at.
If you find your sleep and nutrition are sound, yet you’re still getting very sore from your workouts, you are probably doing too much. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:
▶️ workouts are always an hour or more long
▶️ you’re not taking any days off (1-2 days off/week is a good base for advanced lifters; 2-3 days for intermediate; and 3-4 for beginners)
▶️ you’re not giving the body part(s) 2-3 days for recovery before training it again (WOMEN tend to train legs too frequently & this includes leg workouts plus HIIT cardio; MEN tend to train chest and/or biceps too frequently; working the ‘mirror’ muscles. A strong back looks good too)
Hope this helps you understand the importance of what you do when you’re not in the gym. Its when we rest and eat that the muscles can recover and grow; not when you’re in the gym tearing the muscle fibres down.