Congratulations! You made it through a Level 9 session or some type of high intensity training.
Showing up is the hardest part and you did it!
When you crush a tough workout, especially during weight training and body weight exercises like push-ups, you’re literally Tearing it Up!
Sore muscles after a workout session is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The stress you’re putting your body under causes micro-tears to the muscle fibers.
Deep soreness usually sets in at round the 24 hour mark and sticks around for a day or two, but can last as long as a week in some cases.
The soreness you’re feeling is a combination of inflammation and the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. You’re healing from the stress you’ve put the muscles through.
Now treat your body right with 7 ways to relieve muscle soreness.
Best Ways to Knock Out Soreness
1 – Move
Fight the urge to just rest your sore muscles during the day. The instinct to completely rest is wrong and will leave you feeling even more sore in the short term.
Low stress, low impact movement such as a long walk, riding a bike or hitting the elliptical machine on a low setting will help reduce soreness and stiffness.
2 – Percussion Gun
I had to tack this way to relieve muscle soreness onto my list near the top because a percussion gun like TheraGun is specifically designed to provide deep tissue massage without having to dish out money for personal massages every week.
TheraBody pioneered this technology and their products are some of the best, but they certainly aren’t cheap. The great news is there are tons of affordable massage gun products available.
Just go to Amazon and search “percussion gun”. Find your price range and read reviews to figure out which personal massage gun is best for you.
3 – Hydrate
Drink lots of water to help prevent and reduce the buildup of lactic acid.
4 – Rest Well
Get plenty of sleep. This is when a large portion of healing occurs. Wait 24 hours before another hard workout on the same muscle group.
5 – Stretch
This will also help to get the lactic acid out of your muscles much more quickly than just resting. Warm up the muscles before stretching with at least two sets of jumping jacks for 30 seconds per set or a similar exercise. Cold stretching isn’t recommended.
6 – Heat
Heat will increase blood flow to the muscles. This will help the healing and rebuilding process. Dynamic stretching will also provide some relief. Try a heating pad, sauna, hot bath or hot shower.
Side note: Contrary to what we might instinctively do, avoid icing sore muscles. Icing the muscles is a bad idea because it restricts blood flow.
7 – Eat
Proper nutritional intake is very important before and after each workout. Think of this as high octane fuel that will speed the rebuilding and regrowth of stressed muscles. Take in 1 gram of protein per day for every pound of body weight. This will speed up recovery times considerably because protein is the primary nutrient for building new lean mass. Use a whey protein supplement (more info below), as well as proteins found in foods. A crucial time to take in protein is within 1 hour post-workout.
Relieve Soreness and Recover Faster with Whey Protein
I don’t make any money from supplement endorsements, I just recommend specific supplements when there’s a big benefit.
Whey protein can help you heal and grow lean muscle. I dove deeper on that subject in this post on the benefits of protein supplementation.
Anticipating More Soreness Along this Journey
As a personal fitness trainer I’ve heard lots of stories from clients about how sore they’ve been, especially after their first few sessions. The really important thing to remember is that it will pass, your body will heal and you’ll become stronger every time we make those tears to the muscles.
Anyone who has trained with me can tell you that you will actually start to look forward to having some soreness. Heck, one day you might even show up asking me to “make it hurt“.