You decided to make a change. Started to follow some gym regime. Maybe just finished your first workout. Everything looks great, you feel confident and strong. Until the next morning, or the morning after, when soreness comes around. You feel pain, your muscles are burning.
That’s muscle soreness you’re feeling. It’s the normal side effect of training, typical for novice gym members or for any other unusual activity that involves strength and muscles. Activity a person is not used to. Don’t worry do, you’ll get over it. Bodybuilders fight soreness and muscle fatigue all the time, even professionals experience pain when they go super heavy or change their workout routine. Soreness is a common thing in the world of fitness and bodybuilding, in professional sports also.
What is muscle soreness?
DOMS ( delayed-onset muscle soreness ) is a side effect of the stress muscles endure when working out, and hours later also. All those sets and reps cause damage to the muscle fibers. The body then repairs and replaces damaged muscle fibers so they can become larger and stronger to resist new tensions in the future. Afterward, your muscles will be better prepared to handle the bigger amounts of stress and even more loads. This is the basic principle of any bodybuilding routine. Go for bigger loads, lift heavier or faster, adapt and grow – build strength and muscle. But muscles hurt, resistance tears those muscle fibers forcing the body to provide more nutrients, more blood, causing the inflammation of the affected areas. Muscles become lightly swollen, pain receptors register more movement, are more sensitive, and the pain comes in. Typically, people experience a shortened range of motion also and reduced strength of the affected muscles.
It can get tough, to be honest. But it’s completely normal. Note that muscle soreness usually begins within 8-10 hours after the activity. Depending on your form and condition, it can last anywhere from one to four-five days. And it’s not reserved for the gym only. Many people experience the same problems when doing some hard labor, move furniture, help with some construction work, or anything similar, that they don’t usually do. Its the normal response of the human body to physical stress caused by the work you did earlier.
Muscle soreness is a sign that you’re getting stronger. Its nothing to be afraid of. However, most of the people with some gym time think muscle soreness is a necessary thing for muscle growth, and that it always accompanies effective training session. That is not true, you don’t need to experience muscle soreness after every workout to stimulate muscle growth. It’s not an accurate and only indicator of the effectiveness of the workout.
Keep in mind that soreness can be the result out the over-excessive training you’re not prepared to handle yet. Always know your limits and go for some higher goals, but be smart about it. Constant soreness is a clear sign you’re doing it wrong. Give your body the time to recover, to build, and to get stronger.
Ways To Reduce Muscle Soreness
There are some things you can do to reduce the discomfort of the bad muscle soreness. Remember, although the process is natural and expected, some hacks can help you to go through it easier.
- The first one is longer and proper warm-up routine. That involves stretching more, before and after the workout. You can do a little slow pace cardio to get things going.
- Do some long pace steady cardio day or two after hard training day, to ease the pain a little. Yoga, Pilates, massage all help to relief your trouble. Some deep breathing techniques and meditation can also aid a lot. Once the pain is gone you’re set to hit the weights.
- Baths also help. Professional athletes often use cold baths, but any bath will do good. Especially if you don’t stand the cold. Add some mineral salts in it and you’re good to go.
- Eating the right food helps your body to rebuild and to recover faster.
- The last one tip would be to get some sleep. Sleep shorten your recovery time and replenishes your body. On the other hand, lack of sleep will result in longer recovery time and prolonged muscle soreness.