The old bodybuilder mantra ‘no pain, no gain’ gets turned upside down with results from a study published in the journalPain. Researchers compared the pain tolerance of hard-training competitors to people with ‘normal’ activity levels in an analysis of 15 studies that included 550 athletes along with 330 average Janes and Joes.
Although they found no difference in pain threshold, the minimum level of intensity that you feel pain, all types of athletes had a higher tolerance for pain than non-athletes. Pain tolerance is the maximum level of pain you can comfortably withstand. While endurance athletes were fairly uniform in the amount of pain they could tolerate, team sports athletes varied considerably.
True Strength Moment: The pain tolerance comparison between different types of athletes suggests that endurance competitors have a similar mindset. Team sports requires a broader range of skills and abilities, so it makes sense pain tolerance for those competitors might reflect the demands of the position they play.