Being sore from your previous workout is quite common especially if you are new to exercising. This pain you feel is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is caused by micro tearing in your muscles, this means you’ve successfully caused damage at a cellular level. Now repairing these micro tears will hurt, but it’s also what makes you bigger/stronger and this pain will usually last for about 18 hours to 36 hours after your workout. So it’s true what they say about no pain no gain…
However if you workout the same muscle groups again before it’s fully repaired itself you’ll be putting excess stress on those muscles and that will end up halting the growth, but this doesn’t mean you should take a few days off because as easy as it may be to use DOMS as a reason to skip the gym here’s 5 things you should be doing instead:
1. Eat More Protein
Protein is the building blocks of muscle and without eating enough you’ll always be sore and your results will suffer. So to prevent this you should seek out at least 0.9 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight to build and maintain muscle mass. When you are cutting (losing weight) you should increase this to 1.2 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight.
2. Stretch Before And After You Workout
If your not already doing a full body warm up/stretch before you train then you’ve increased the chances of injury because your muscles and joints are cold. Therefore, a good warm up is extremely important and necessary before you start training. Not only will a good and efficient warm up prevent the risk of injuring yourself, but it can also help you lift more while improving your training results.
Now after your workout the more time you can spend stretching, the faster you’ll recover because stretching helps your blood circulate around the body better. Foam rolling your entire body after a workout is even better than stretching, it’ll definitely reduce muscle soreness aswell.
3. Use Ice On The Muscle
More on the circulation theme – nothing moves blood around like ice because it causes blood vessels to contract at first and then open as you get used to the cold. Seriously ice is one of the best recovery aids we have available and almost all injuries heal quicker when you apply ice. So if you’re suffering from DOMS then ice that body part for 20 minutes 3-4 times throughout the day.
4. Alternate Your Workouts
Cycling your body parts (aka doing a split routine) is the key to working out through muscle soreness so that you stay on track no matter what. For example if you’re nursing sore shoulders and arms from yesterday’s workout then spend the next day working on your legs and abs, this allows the sore body parts time to rest and rebuild.
5. Make Sure It’s Not Bad Pain
Sometimes an injury (bad pain) is often mistaken as DOMS, if you’re new to working out feeling some aches and pains are normal. However, if the pain feels like a burning sensation then stop right there because pushing through the pain may not be the best thing since you might of strained something. If this pain doesn’t get better in a day or two then you should go see a professional.
The good news is that DOMS won’t last forever and the more consistent you stay with your workout routine the less DOMS you will feel, especially if you follow the 5 tips above.
If you still have questions about muscle soreness then please leave a comment about it down below.