Ooooooouuuch! Is post-workout and delayed onset muscle soreness a good thing?

I’m standing in a corridor of the mall. I have three choices in front of me:

1) Men’s washroom

2) Ladies washroom

or this:

DEFINITELY door number 3!

Why? Let’s just say this stupid little walk I’m sporting isn’t my gangsta stride, it’s plain and simple post workout delayed onset muscle soreness on a level I forgot existed. And the handicap washroom has a few amenities that sound super appealing right now:

A couple hand rails to help me sit onto and off of a toilet that’s much higher than in a normal washroom. Deep squatting just ain’t in the cards right now. And check out that pink toilet paper! Makes me feel all the more princess like right now.

Did I overdo that last leg workout? You tell me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVqR_al8V6Y and read all about it in the “show more” description below video. Then again the next day I did 1 Arm DB Snatches which are explosive and require a lot of hamstring, inner thigh and glutes which were already trashed. Oh and this morning I was teaching an awesome ladies shape and conditioning class which included demonstrating the Parisi warm up and things like 5 Point Lunges and 1 Leg Romanian Deadlifts.

So maybe I did overdo it. Is it a bad thing other than the discomfort?

Why yes:

Recovery. If I can’t recover from a previous leg workout for 5 days when I’m supposed to be doing 2-3 leg workouts a week (on my current program) it starts messing up my workout schedule.

What sort of pain are we talking about? If you’re feeling joint achiness and twinging – THAT’S A BAD THING. It may indicate you did some of the exercises the incorrect way or they may not be good for your body. Worked muscles that are sore is normal. Beating your joints into the ground is stupid.

I have a life that’s active and I need to be able to move properly and demonstrate exercises all day long to other clients. Rather hard and somewhat dangerous when my stabilizers and major muscle groups are all useless.

Did I mention it’s friggin painful? Training biceps today was hurting my legs more than the biceps.

Why no:

Guess what happens when you’ve created that much damage to the muscle? Your body spends a great deal of energy (calories) doing it’s best to rebuild, get stronger and more resilient to your insane attempt to repeat the procedure as soon as possible. Those are calories not being turned into body fat. In fact, personally I find that I lean out quite a bit when I’m facing a lot of muscle soreness, especially in the legs (even though I’m now moving around less).

Your body will set a new higher work and pain threshold. Everyone has a story of that one time they overdid calve training and didn’t walk normal for 2 weeks. It usually doesn’t happen again until you make a major step up. Or have time away from training and then come back to it.

What to do:

If you are ALWAYS SUPER SORE after all your workouts 1) you’re not getting enough nutrients between workouts to rebuild, 2) your workouts are too intense or in a rep range that’s causing too much damage or 3) you’re sadistic. Scale it back a notch.

There’s a few things you can do to ease off the pain. Maintaining very light, normal every day activity in those sore muscles is a good idea. Sitting on your ass doing nothing is a terrible idea. Investing in this awesome recovery tool ($55):

The Trigger Point Company’s “The Grid” Foam Roller

Ensuring adequate protein, fat and slow burning carbs  for the next few days. Taking in LOTS of water. Hot showers, baths (especially with epsom salts), hot tubs, saunas and getting a massage will all help. But mostly, you’ll just need a couple days to feel normal again.

Lastly, there is something to be said of knowing you worked the intended muscles. One of the funniest quotes I have ever read on the subject of training is “If your female client on her very first session is left with ab and glute soreness the days following, she’ll keep coming back.” The same can be said of a guy and his chest.

So until this:

Turns into this:

Take some pride in your hard work, take it easy on those sore muscles and stay active!

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