Post-Workout soreness, What’s Happening to My Body?

Post-Workout soreness, What’s Happening to My Body?

Post-workout soreness, what is happening to my body??

When we train, whether its strength training or endurance/cardio training, the next day or even the second day we tend to get sore. Sometimes the soreness can be more intense than other times.

Why is that?

In the following, I’m going to discuss what the differences are of the two types of soreness. I will also touch on what is happening to the muscle to lead to muscle soreness. I will finish with preventative measures to recover and/or relieve the risk for intense soreness.

To begin, let’s talk about what soreness is. Whether you’re new to fitness and just getting started or you are an elite athlete, we feel soreness in the coming days after a tough or new workout. Especially if the workout involves newer movements that your body isn’t used to doing. There are two types of soreness: acute muscle soreness (feels immediately after the workout) and Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS.) DOMS usually present themselves about a day or two after the training has been completed.

Acute muscle soreness is the burning sensation you feel during a workout due to a quick buildup of metabolites during intense workout and usually shows up right away. This type of soreness is generally provoked by working the muscle to fatigue.

DOMS typically show up between 12 to 24 hours after your workout. This type of soreness tends to peak 1-3 days later but should start to ease after that 3-day point. Some symptoms include pain when the muscle stretches, tenderness of the muscle, reduced range of motion, swelling, muscle fatigue, and short-term loss of strength in that muscle.

What causes DOMS?

High-intensity exercise can cause tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Your body will respond to these tears by causing inflammation. DOMS are not limited to high-intensity workouts. Eccentric exercises can also trigger DOMS. Eccentric exercises are those that cause you to tense a muscle at the same time you lengthen it. (ex. Quads tensing up while running down a hill.)

It is a common misconception that getting sore after a workout is a sign of a good workout. That is false. Overall, getting sore is solely the result of working out a muscle group that you haven’t worked long term. The newer somebody is to a certain movement, the more likely they will have some kind of soreness whether it’s acute muscle soreness and/or DOMS. The more your body adapts to that certain movement, the less intense that soreness will be. Therefore lack of soreness is not indicative of an ineffective workout.

Some ways to prevent muscle soreness is proper warm up.

Warming up the body is always a good idea before a bout of exercise but really focusing on the muscle group(s) you’re planning on working that can not only help with injury prevention but can help active that area you’re going to work. Another thing to consider is mobility training. Having active joints warmed up can aid in efficient body movements allowing for the prevention of imbalances and compensations. If you don’t know where to start in mobility training, Success Fitness and Training has you covered! Meet with one of us for all your mobility needs! (Click HERE to learn more about our personalized mobility services)

Some ideas of treating soreness and DOMS can include hydrating, foam rolling the affected areas, stretching, light exercises emulating the movements that made you sore to begin with, and topical creams. Most of these options aren’t going to completely rid the issue but they are ways for some relief.

Nutrition can be a factor in recovery as well! Making sure you get enough protein is so important because it helps rebuild those micro tears and damage to the muscle. Carbs are great in helping with the muscle fatigue as it gives the muscle the energy to perform. Good fats are important to help lubricate the joints.

For some, getting these real intense times of soreness can be off putting and be a discouraging factor for continuing. But know that the intensity of the soreness will go away so post workouts can be much more bearable in the long run… so don’t give up!!

Your body will adapt, and it’ll thank you later for sticking to it. Stay consistent!!