How many of you have ever woken up the day after a tough workout (or maybe 2 days after) and felt sooo sore that you could barely get out of bed?? Yep I LOVE that feeling!! That burn you feel 24 to 48 hours after an intense workout is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it’s enough to make you want to put down the weights and pick up a bag of chips. But please keep going! Ever heard of the saying “no pain no gain”? A little bit of pain is ok 😉 But good pain of course (in the muscles not your joints), hopefully you know the difference!?
When you’re lifting weights what’s happening is you are creating a micro trauma in the muscle or breaking down/tearing the muscle. When the muscle recovers, it’s going to recover stronger and denser than it was before. So that soreness you feel the day after an upper-body or lower body workout—when you’re hauling groceries into your car and you can hardly lift your arms, or the agony you feel trying to sit down or stand up –is good!
Just make sure what you’re suffering from is DOMS and not an injury. A good way to tell the difference is if the pain is bilateral (one side and not the other). Having one very sore shoulder after you’ve worked both shoulders could spell injury.
If you feel normal soreness in a muscle, ligament, or tendon, it’s DOMS and you can continue working out around it. In the case of arms and shoulders, you can lower body and abs and then move back to your upper body in a few days. Or you can plan to alternater upper and lower body days or break your muscles up into 5 days, one or two muscle groups per day. I am currently following a 5 day split, Monday-shoulders/abs, Tuesday-back/chest, Wednesday-REST, Thursday-shoulders (cable)/abs, Friday-arms, Saturday-LEGS and Sunday-REST! I also do 20 minutes of cardio after every workout, sprints (ugh!), biking or Stairmaster.
To avoid feeling the pain of DOMS the next time around, start slow. If you haven’t worked out in awhile increase your resistance gradually so that your muscles can adapt to your new workout plan. Here are some tips to relieve (or avoid) sore muscles, so pain will never be an excuse to skip your workout again—and that’s a good thing!
What to do if you’re sore after a workout?
1) Epsom salts in a warm bath —add three cups of Epsom salts to bath water.
2) Ice to reduce swelling and rest–to assist with repair.
3) Use Glutamine post workout and in the morning or before bed.
4) Use foam roller to help relax muscles.
How to avoid becoming sore after a workout?
1) Warm up — a short cardio warm-up 5-7 min.
2) Stay hydrated–lack of electrolytes can make muscles sore. Steer clear of high sugar drinks, water is best!!
3) Use a foam roller pre & post workout — Pre-workout can assist with warm up and mobility. Post-workout can reduce lactic acid effect and help with myofascial release by relaxing and lengthening of the muscles.
4) Do cardio–a cardio workout increases blood flow and acts as a filter system. It brings nutrients like oxygen, protein, and iron to the muscles that you’ve been training and helps them recover faster. As the blood leaves the muscles, it takes some of the metabolic bi-products with it (like carbon dioxide and lactic acid) that may be causing DOMS. Try doing 10-20 minutes after your workout and this may help reduce muscle soreness.
5) Stretch post-workout — increase flexibility and joint mobility while the body is warm.
What supplements will help post workout soreness?
1) L-glutamine-You can take up to 20 g/day–5 g with 5 g BCAA’s before or during workout, 10 g post workout with your shake, 5 g before bed is the amount I currently taking.
2) Fish Oil-liquid is best, Carlson’s is great and comes in flavours as well (orange or lemon I think?)
What is L-glutamine??
Here is a short video from Fitness Model/Holistic Nutritionist Lyzabeth Lopez explaining the benefits of Glutamine…
Don’t let your sore muscles prevent you from missing a workout, follow these tips to keep yourself from avoiding the gym!