Why do I feel so sore after lifting weights? – Triathlete


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It’s the new year, and with it, the cliché “new you.” Because This is amazing Will be the year we lose weight, gain muscle, put on a PR, or tackle a new distance—many of us are flocking to the gym or queuing up for the latest and greatest workout app to get a jump on our resolutions. Unfortunately, this unbridled excitement often leads to severe soreness that is incredibly uncomfortable — so much so that you may need to take a few days off. If you are googling Why am I so sore after lifting weights? you are not alone. It happens to the best of us, especially in the first few weeks of January. Even if you seriously check swim, bike, and treadmill boxes into your training plan over the holidays, you might wake up sore the next day to introduce strength training. Here’s why this happens and what to do about it.

Related: Strength training for athletes

Why do you ache so epic after lifting weights

Strength training causes small, microscopic tears in muscle fibers, which is generally considered a good “positive stress” for the neuromuscular system. The damaged muscle fibers then heal – adapting to the previous stimulus – becoming stronger and better equipped to deal with similar stresses again. As with any injury or damage to the body’s soft tissues, this can cause soreness of varying degrees, which we commonly refer to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

While DOMS is highly individual, its severity is often related to the “newness” of the intensity (regarding unpredictable weight, size, or movement pattern) in the exercise. Even for the athletes who swim the most, returning to strength training can cause muscle stiffness, tenderness to touch, a feeling of weakness, and/or swelling—because it’s a change in stimulus to the way muscles use to be loaded.

Related: Triathletes are experts at the pain game

How long is muscle soreness after lifting weights?

This depends on our own fitness, genetics, and overall body health. The pain usually peaks 24-48 hours after exercise, and may last up to 3-5 days in total.

Those who are more adapted to both consistency and variety of movement will typically experience DOMS to a lesser extent. While a basic level of generalized strength and general efficiency in movement won’t eliminate the fatigue of a new strength routine, it will certainly relieve neuromuscular trauma.

Additionally, hormone levels and homeostasis play a huge role in the damage/repair cycle—specifically testosterone levels in both men and women.

Related: Is my sore good or bad?

The man suffers from muscle pain after lifting weights
(Photo: Getty Images)

How to get rid of muscle pain after lifting weights

Unfortunately, once DOMS sneaks in, there is no Many It can be done to turn back the clock. While taking extra rest and being patient isn’t usually a solid fix for the average athlete (or a tough new gym’s fix in the new year), allowing the body to recover optimally is the best recommendation for DOMS. Here are some tips to help with this process:

  • Pain management. Pain relievers or topical treatments, such as ibuprofen or Tiger Balm, may reduce discomfort, but It will not help repair tissues. Use them to encourage light movement – but not to mask pain for moderate to high intensity swimming, cycling or strength running.
  • Move gently. Mild dilationLow-impact aerobic and movement exercises will stimulate circulation and can help relieve stiffness.
  • Use massage and/or pressure. Both methods have been shown to increase blood flow and promote circulation to reduce the severity of DOMS. If you choose to go the DIY route with self-massage, be gentle with your hands, foam rolleror Percussive massager.
  • Apply the appropriate temperatures. The heat helps relax sore muscles and dilates blood vessels, while ice may provide short-term relief for localized swelling. Alternating the two in shorter sessions (eg, hydrotherapy) has been shown to increase circulation similarly to massage.

Related: 24 natural ways to soothe triceps muscle pain

How to (responsibly) restart a strength training workout

Once the discomfort subsides, feeling a little shy about jumping back into the weight room is normal. Remember to file the intensity of modernity It really causes the most dramatic effect on our system, hence, prepare as appropriately as possible. This includes:

  • Warm system training. Many time-starved athletes squeeze it into their strength routine first thing in the morning. 5-10 minutes of gentle, dynamic movementExercise, including bodyweight movement or light aerobic exercise, can help reduce DOMS.
  • Embrace progress. Whether the athlete is completely new to strength training or has taken a couple of months off, remember that conditioning (getting stronger!) is a function of constant overload. Progress will be faster with small, frequent gains compared to a stop/start strategy around pain and/or injury. Specifically for most athletes, body weight is more Enough for your first sessions.
  • Eat well. protein It is an essential nutrient for muscle repair, and carbohydrates are the main source of glycogen replacement. Eating well ensures that your body is given the energy to recover.

Related: You need to fuel strength training differently. Here’s how to do it right.

Kate Legs He has specialized in endurance training in both functional strength and conditioning, as well as creating technical programs for cyclists, runners, triathletes, and multisport endurance athletes for over a decade. She is a NASM cPT as well as a NASM CES (Corrective) and PES Specialist (Performance).

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