“No pain, no gain.”
The old adage is true to a certain extent.
The discomfort involved, however, should be part of a controlled, personalized exercise program designed to eventually make the participant a healthier person.
The trend lately seems to focus on just the opposite.
Workout programs labeled”extreme” and “hardcore”seem to be popping up everywhere as of late.  The idea is simple, really.   The exercises are extremely demanding physically and on the nervous system, thus taxing the body to the extent that the participant burns ALOT of calories.  To this end, these programs are very effective.
The problem is, very, very few people are at a fitness level where they are ready for this type of exercise.  most people (yes, even you Mr. 20 Years Under a Bench Press Guy) have muscle imbalances, postural deviations, and medical conditions that make this type of exercise not only ineffective, but dangerous and damaging to a persons body.
The programs are not personalized based on these individual conditions. 
Therefore, in most cases, JUST BECAUSE IT”S HARD DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD.  Any first time trainer or fitness participant can put together a grueling, extremely taxing workout program.  That’s the easy part. 
Putting together that kind of plan with the exercisers specific strengths, weaknesses, and muscle imbalances in mind will yield not only better and faster results, but the participant will probably enjoy less time recovering from unnecessary pain as well.  Controlled “extreme” exercising is the only way to go.
Matt Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Training Staff