You are really pumped about the work out that you have accomplished! You have started to get focused on your health and are feeling like a CHAMP! Your leg workout consisting of lunges, squats, leg extensions, leg lifts, and lying leg lifts was such a good workout and you left feeling like you left all you had at the gym. You are feeling like a super hero!
But there is just one thing…
You wake up the next day and are so SORE!
You are literally choosing to go to the handicap stall knowing full well that you feel like you need that bar to help you get on and off the toilet.
You look at the stairs going up to your office – and then you see the handicap ramp and decide that is the best decision for you mentally (and quite frankly physically).
You are crying every time you have to move after sitting still for even 5 minutes – or when you all of the sudden realize you have to go to the restroom and you are not already sitting on the toilet.
You cringe at the thought of the fact that you are going to have to move when the alarm goes off the next morning and are contemplating if you could call in to your doctor for a excuse note.
I hear you – and I can explain…
When you work out – you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. May sound like the opposite of what you are wanting to do – but those microscopic tears heal to build and strengthen your muscles.
An example of what I can compare this to is if you have a deep cut and it starts to heal, it starts to itch – its like that in your muscles but with them being sore.
Still with me?
OK – let me explain Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness DOMS – (which is the pain you feel the day after or several days after) – if you were to Google it – you would see that it is because your muscles are damaged.
“But Meggs – why would I want to damage my muscles?”
Those very small tears are the way that your muscles are re-building and getting stronger. The muscles adapt and change to the lifts that you put your body through.
I want to discuss one thing – whether or not you are sore – DOES NOT mean you had/or didn’t have a good work out. Ok – go read that again. There is a common misconception that you have to have some soreness in order to prove you had a good work out and that is simply not true. Those who are new to working out, sure you are working out hard and getting sore… then you notice as time goes on, that you are not as sore. Your muscles are adapting and getting stronger.
Now that does not mean that you need to up your weights right away. A great way to gauge if you need to increase your load (weight) that you are lifting is if you are completing a set and are not feeling a slight shakiness or exertion the last few reps in your set… if you are breezing through – up the weights. **Or if you are working out from home with limited weights that you can increase – increase the number of sets in your workout**
One more thing – this is NOT lactic acid built up into your muscles. This is a slew of old theories – stating that “you have lactic acid in your muscles”… and that is not the case. I too used to believe this before I became more educated on the matter of DOMS.
Now I want to give you some helpful tips if you ARE sore and how to minimize the number of days that you are walking like a penguin, or simply unable to wash your hair…
#1 – Self-Myofascial Release (aka foam rolling) – here is the trick – when you are foam rolling you do not want to roll your muscles on the foam roller back and forth. What you do want to do – is to roll the foam roller to the first spot of tension that is a 7-10 on the uncomfortable scale and hold the roller there for 30 seconds max. Make sure that you breathe through the hold (because you may want to hold your breath – but don’t). After the first 30 seconds roll about an inch more and hold again for 30 seconds. Do this for each muscle group that is sore for 3 or 4 holds.
#2 – Walk – “A body in motion, stays in motion.” Go for a walk. The more that you move your the more that they will have the blood pump to them and to help them heal.
#3 – Do some lighter sets – do a few set of lighter reps. You may feel some light soreness during the exercises but you also could feel some release after the lighter weight workout.
#3 – Epsom Salt Bath – Take a 30 min bath with some Epsom Salt. You can add a couple of drops of some essential oils and as relaxing as it is – it can also help you heal.
Now these are not a “THIS MAKES YOU NOT SORE” type of “prescription”… These are things that will help you recover a tad bit faster – plus all of those things make you feel good – so there is that!
If you really can’t stand being sore at all (sounds funny but many people LOVE that sore feeling) you can make sure to not do as much in your work out. Do lighter workouts, do fewer sets, just have a less strenuous work out. Again – this does NOT mean that you are not having an effective work out – it just means that you prefer to not be sore – which is totally OK! You do You BOO!
Everyone’s work out looks different. That is the beauty of Life Stride Fitness! I get it! I wan your fitness to be unique to you – that is the beauty of working out in YOUR stride of life!
If you would like some more information about workouts that are tailored to you and your needs – fill out the information below and I will get back with you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!