How sore should I get?

I got a text message from a client after one of our 6 Week Body Transformation classes in Concord. To sum it up she said that she wasn’t sore enough after the workout.concord muscle soreness workouts

Fair enough, I understand how good it feels to to be sore after a killer workout, BUT expecting to be super sore after every workout doesn’t jive with exercise physiology and periodization.

Let’s think about this for a bit.

What causes soreness (DOMS, for the smarties out there. Get a cookie if you’re the first person to tell me what DOMS stands for)?

There are a few theories.

1. Lactic acid build up

This is pretty much bunk, the lactic acid in your system is gone pretty quick after a workout

2. Muscle tears

This is where I put my money. Put simply each time you do a workout you’re actually damaging the tissue and causing small micro-trauma to the muscle fibers. There’s a kind of sweet spot for muscle trauma where you should feel like you did something the day before, but you can still move.

Most workout regimens look something like this:

1. Workout
2. Rest
3. Workout

and so on. If you’ve caused so much damage to the tissue that you can’t really move the day after, odds are that you’ll have some soreness (read: muscle damage) for your next workout. Repeat this cycle a few times and you’re going to end up with muscle that’s being continuously torn and worked before you can repair it. Sometimes this is a good thing, in small doses.

Here are some quick ways I teach to my clients in Concord that reduce soreness, and will help make sure you kill your workouts:

1. Stretch! Yup, right after a workout make sure you stretch out the muscles that you used.

2. Eat carbs right after your workout. This will get nutrition to your muscles right away and make sure that you start the healing process. About 50-60% carbs, 30% protein, and 10% fat is good to aim for

3. Sleep at least 6 hours each night. Your body is most efficient at repairing muscle when you’re sleeping, so the more you sleep the quicker you’ll heal.

That’s it for now


P.S. New wave of body transformations will be starting in a few weeks. Stay tuned (e-mail me to get on the waiting list, already have 4 names…).

  • Gieve

    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness! The pain felt after working out.

    I want a cookie!

  • Maz

    Delayed onset dammit Gieve!