If you’ve been following my blog and applying any of my advice, there is a good chance that your lifting weights at least three times per week. And if you train like me (a straight beast =P) you’re likely sore on the regular. Be sure to rock these sore muscles like a badge of honor! After all, not everyone is willing to sacrifice the comfy spot on the couch watching Jersey Shore in order to get to the gym and lift heavy weights week after week!Â
Don’t front though, I know that this “badge of honor” thing just works in public. In private, there’s a good chance that you’re probably cussing up a storm in the morning when you can hardly roll out of bed or any time you rest extensively for that matter – such as just sitting at a desk or driving on a deep road trip – you tend to get all stiff and sore.
So if this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. This pain (i’m using the term pain loosely) you’re experiencing is referred to as “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or “DOMS” in bodybuilder lingo. You see, when you lift heavy weights, your muscles get microscopic tears in them. These microscopic tears then get slightly inflamed as your body starts working to repair these tears. Both the tears as well as the inflammation are thought to contribute to the soreness you feel the day after a hard workout.
Now, a word about this “pain”…
While these DOMs are painful, they shouldn’t be debilitating. And you should start to feel better within a day or so. If you’re feeling sharp pains, that’s not good. That may be a sign of injury rather than simple muscle soreness. If you have a possible injury, then let it heal before you lift again.
Assuming you’re just dealing with the regular sore muscles, you CAN keep working out. However, at the same time you need to give your sore muscles a chance to heal. And that’s why you shouldn’t work the same muscles during back to back training sessions. Instead, put at least two days between similar workout sessions – and more if you can swing it.
So what should you do when you get sore? Follow these tips and see if you don’t start feeling better…
Stay Hydrated. Cellular hydration (swelling) acts as anÂ anabolic agent. Your muscle cells swell when your hydrated and thisÂ inhibits proteolysis (protein breakdown), and stimulates protein synthesis!
- Do light cardio. Go for a walk, ride a bike or go swimming. You don’t want to tax your muscles, so don’t lift weights using your sore muscles. Instead, just do light cardio to warm them up, which should make them feel better.
- Take Glutamine. This amino acidÂ speeds recovery, prevents sore muscles, and stimulates growth hormone production.
- Take Some egg white protein with creatine. Â Egg whites have a solid amount of lean protein, which helps repair muscles and tissue within the muscles.Â Creatine hydrates skeletal muscles by pulling water into muscle cells. By pulling water into the muscle cells, creatine indirectly increases the rate of protein synthesis, or the formation of new proteins. It is through these two mechanisms that creatine may be able to impact both immediate and delayed-onset muscle soreness.
- Use a foam roller.Â Think pool noodle but a little more dense and larger in diameter. This is great for relieving tight, sore muscles. You simply use your bodyweight in a smooth and controlled manner roll over sensitive spots.
- Take a warm bath. Doing light cardio is one way to warm up and ease your tight muscles. Another way is to take a warm bath or sit in a Jacuzzi.
- Use a topical cream. I never go this route, but i suppose you may consider using a topical cream such as “Icy Hot” or “Bengay” to deal with muscles soreness.Â
- Cycle ice and heat. You can put an icepack on your sore muscles. Then later you can alternate and put a heating pad on them (or take a warm bath). This is great for relieving cramps and habitualy tight spots.Â
- Stretch. Obviously, you should stretch and warm up before each workout session. Try stretching throughout your day or during commercials. I’ll be posting a guide on the correct and most effective way to stretch real soon here.
- REST. You’d think this would be the most obvious piece of advice, but the fact of the matter is, rest is often one of the most overlooked aspects of training in general. Your muscle grow and repair themselves when your asleep, nuff said.
Alright my dude, stay tuned because next time you’ll find out more advanced GSI training tips and get the first look at my next video!