It’s happened to the best of us, you’re at the gym pushing through that last set of weights trying to hit your max level only to wake up the next morning barely able to move. Increasing your intensity or weights can be a challenge at first, but in the long run will provide you with better and quicker results. Without pushing yourself to the next level your muscles will become stagnant without much visible improvement. You’re probably thinking… Isn’t working out supposed to make you feel good and give you energy? An increase in flexibility and energy are definitely both benefits to working out, but it may take you a few tries to get there but when you do it will be worth the effort.
If you’re a beginner then be prepared for some muscle soreness at first. The Best thing for you to do is to prepare yourself and slowly ease your muscles into it.
There are two types of muscle soreness that can occur after you work out. Being sore after a workout is all part of muscle recovery. It’s important to pay attention to the aches and pains you experience after a workout and know why they happen.
The first is the mild muscle pain you feel within the first 24-48 hours which normally goes away quickly. This is usually a good sign indicating that you have had a good workout and triggered muscle growth. The soreness you feel is generally trauma caused to the micro muscle fibres and an excess of lactic acid. You’ll know once your body has adapted to a certain routine when you no longer feel soreness afterwards. In this case you should normally increase or change your workout routine for noticeable results.
The second type is when you don’t notice your sore until a couple days after your workout and can generally last up to a week for beginners. It is sometimes referred to as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This type of soreness can leave you very uncomfortable and unable to move your muscle in full range of motion. DOMS is usually caused when you perform an entirely new exercise or if your training a lot harder. Although you may feel like a week off from the gym would be the best option, you will actually benefit from performing some lighter weight exercises helping to increase blood flow and condition the sore areas.
By performing the same motion of exercises your body will increase its endurance and you won’t experience the pain as much. The more you become comfortable with performing certain exercises the less painful and more enjoyable working out will be.
-Stretch, stretch and stretch! It’s so important to warm up your body with some cardio and a good stretch. Start from the bottom and work your way up, holding each stretch for a good 30 seconds.
-Start with a lower set of weights and complete more reps and then as you improve you can increase weight and decrease reps.
-Stay hydrated but don’t overdo it during the workout. You want to drink your liquids before and after your workout, and only small sips during. This will help decrease muscle cramping and bloating. Forget those high sugar sports drinks; opt for some natural coconut water instead to refuel your electrolytes.
-Get plenty of rest. Make sure to get a full eight hour sleep when you’re hitting the gym. Your body is not a machine and needs time to recover and regain its energy and strength.
-Stay on schedule and be constant with your workouts. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste by working out one day then skipping a whole week. It can be hard to train your body new things and by skipping days you are only heading back where you started.
After making sure you’ve prepared your muscles for the gym you’ll want to ensure that you’re eating the rights foods at the right time after you finish your workout. The best remedy for this is a mix of protein and carbs. The problem is sometimes it can take a while for your body to absorb it quick enough. For this reason people often opt for foods and drinks high in sugar like chocolate milk and sports drinks. You can avoid this by preplanning and preparing the right foods ahead of time.
Protein – Consume between 0.15-0.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Pick up some whey protein powder and mix it with some skim milk or water and you have a fast digesting drinkable protein. You want to consume this within 30 min after your workout. Best thing to do is to keep a shaker bottle with you to blend up your shake for the drive or walk home from the gym.
Carbs – The next important thing you’ll need is to make sure your consuming a source of carbs. Try to consume between 0.25-0.4 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. You can add in a banana or some oats into you protein shake as an option. Your glycogen levels become very low after a workout and if you’re not refuelling your stores then your body will resort to using muscle instead.
Next time you break sweat remember to repair your muscles with these simple remedies.
Your Health Nut,