The good news is that soreness after a workout is a sign that you are challenging your muscles to grow larger.
The bad news is that it can affect your future workouts if not treated. The faster you recover from soreness, the quicker you will be able to continue your progress.
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
When you are working your muscles harder or longer than the rate oxygen can be supplied to the muscle tissue for the burning of glucose, the muscles must switch into anaerobic respiration.
This is how the muscles can keep pumping even after all available oxygen is used up. Unfortunately, this process isn’t as efficient and the by-product is lactic acid.
Lactic acid builds up in the muscles until it can be flushed out causing soreness.
How to Recover Quicker?
I always found prevention is best. Ease into workout routines slowly or new exercises slowly. Don’t go gun ho right off the bat or you will be very sore. Gradually build up your reps and weight.
If it’s too late and you are already sore, the best way to get over the soreness quicker is to drink plenty of water, do some stretching, and do light exercises that activate the sore muscle groups.
This will pump the lactic acid from the muscle tissue and allow them to feel normal again.
If your gym has a vibration plate like PowerPlate, this also is a good way to get rid of soreness. I’ve found that the vibrations help clear the muscles of the lactic acid, allowing for quicker recovery.
Here is a video about how to relieve the muscle soreness and tightness and boost the performance of your next session.
As your body becomes more conditioned, it is easy to fall into the trap of performing the same exercises over and over.
This can lead to a natural plateau where you stop making progress in your workouts.
You know the drill, legs on Tuesdays, biceps on Wednesdays and so on.
Your body adapts pretty quickly to routine so you have to keep it guessing.
Steps for Preventing Muscle Gain Stalls
Do a variety of exercises, not just the same ones all the time.
Alternate weight training with some strength training.
Every 3 to 4 weeks take 5 to 7 days off and do nothing weight training wise.
Increase the amount of weight you are lifting even if it means less reps.
Put some “power moves” into your routine, these activate many muscle groups at once.
Of the above steps, I’ve found that taking a break and doing a variety of exercises has worked best for me. Also, make sure you are keeping your nutrition up. Muscles can’t grow if they don’t have raw materials needed for development.
Above all, dont give up, you’ll get there!
Click below for a short video on how to avoid this scenario from happening to you and how to break Workout Plateaus if they do happen.