Being sore, what it means, what to do.

February 14, 2019


So you've worked out, and now you're sore. Congratulations. But, what does this mean? Is it good? Bad? Should we be sore everyday? Let's attack as much as we can.


First off, there are two kinds of "sore". First we have DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is what you feel (usually) 1-3 days after working out. Symptoms include inability to sit on the toilet after leg day, and having difficulty straightening your arms after "Murph". Newbies usually experience a fair amount of this when beginning, and while it may not totally go away in a few weeks, the severity can reduce after a consistent exercise schedule.

Second, is Acute Muscle Soreness. This is best described with a relatable feeling: how your legs feel after several sprint intervals on an air bike, doing push ups to failure, etc. It is "pain" felt immediately during and after exercise in the muscles. Some people will call this "the pump". This usually goes away several minutes after the muscle(s) stops being used.


Now, what does any of the information mean? Let's work backwards. Acute Soreness can disperse rapidly by simply cooling down-if your legs burn from squatting, go for a light walk/jog or hop on a bike. Arms blown up from pull ups? Use them. Bike or row with a bias towards the body part.

Getting rid of DOMS is a bit more complicated. You can opt for things like a handy foam roller, muscle stim unit, or even massage therapy (good, better, best). However, nothing will move the needle on your body's ability to recover like DIET AND SLEEP. It is the foundation of what we preach, especially during our nutrition challenges. Reduction inflammation (that's what soreness is, your muscles are inflamed) by reducing or eliminating the intake of inflammatory foods (or sometimes edible foodlike substances) as well as eating good, real food is irreplaceable in your life. And if you're sleeping less than 6-7 hours, you are seriously impairing your ability to heal, let alone build and get stronger.


Is being sore bad or good? Well really that depends. As you age your ability to recover slows down so soreness can be an indicator to reduce volume (how heavy/long/hard you workout) on a daily basis. We don't want you to workout on Monday and feel crippled until Thursday. Yes there are workouts that can do that, like Murph, but we only do them once a year. Sometimes you'll get exposed to a movement you maybe haven't done in a long time. Lunges usually come to mind, and you're sore for two days. That's ok. If you find yourself sore regularly to movements we do consistently, it's time to dive deeper into the science.


Being sore does not correlate to progress. Just because you're sore all the time doesn't mean you're building muscle or working hard. It's a great feeling for some but don't use it as a measure for your progress. It also doesn't mean you should avoid working out when sore. We've seen people lift for personal records when the very muscles they use were sore before they started warming up.


I hope this helped in your quest of fitness. Sometimes a little knowledge goes a long way.


Coach Robert



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