NO PAIN NO GAIN. . .TOO MUCH PAIN. . .

a different kinda gain!

Upper-Back-Pain-Exercise.jpg

(previously posted 10/2012)  

As a fitness instructor and runner I live by what I preach and just like everyone else, I do have days that are a little off.  It's hard to follow the rules ALL the time and when we fall short too often, we definitely pay for it later.

This past weekend, I paid for it.  Going into a 4 days of HARD training with little or not recovery really burned me to the core.  I ran on Thursday, taught BodyPump on Friday (back to back), taught AGAIN on Saturday and ran my 6 miler on Sunday.  Oh, it didn't stop there. . .I got up on Monday taught BodyPump and CXWORX and THEN headed to work! Normally, I can do this and can brag about it, but this time. . .it's HOW I did it that cost me.  I not only teach but I participate with the class and I not only put on the weight. . .I loaded it on trying to be a bad a--! BIG MISTAKE!

When you do strength training, as you may or may not know, you are tearing down muscle fibers to build new muscle.  The soreness that you feel the day after, "Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness" can last up to 72 hours.  Here you are still burning calories and your muscles are working hard to rebuild.  You need a day to recover before heading into another strength day.  That is what I did NOT do.  Going into class #3, my legs were sore, weak and could not generate power to teach the class properly.  Why? No recovery.  After pushing myself, I developed an upset stomach, loss of appetite and I couldn't move!

Why am I sharing this? I want you to be safe when working out.   Many of us, not all of us, get caught up in the moment of being "strong" and "super-girl/man" like and we keep moving like the Energizer bunny.  It's a great euphoria but the crash and burn can last longer than the experience.  You have to take care of yourself and know when your body says STOP. . .you need to LISTEN!

Check out these tips on Muscle Relief from Muscle Soreness! 

1.  Rest: Getting good sleep can help your body recuperate faster.  Not getting enough sleep will make your muscles soreness feel more intense.

2.  Active Recovery:  This may seem backwards for some but completing light exercise during the recovery phase may be the most promising method to not only alleviate the pain, but help reduce soreness.

3.  Hydration: (this played a BIG part in my recovery) Water can help flush out the toxins so the more water you drink, the better.  Not drinking enough water can cause the soreness to worsen, or even cause muscle cramps.

4. Proper Nutrition:  A balanced diet may help reduce muscle soreness.  If you are deficient in potassium, an electrolyte which is essential for muscle contractions, or you are not eating enough protein, muscle soreness may take longer to heal.  GET YOUR PROTEIN.

5.  NSAIDS:  non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, or Alleve, can help reduce the pain of soreness, but does NOT speed up recovery.

Now putting all this together, if you are experiencing intense muscle soreness and pain after a workout, NSAIDS, topical gels, hydration, rest and a well balanced diet is your best bet to relieve the pain.  Then as the soreness becomes more bearable, throw in some active recovery, which has a powerful analgesic effect and may actually help speed up the recovery process.  (Don't go out and do 6 miles like I did!. . .OUCH!) For more information on this subject check out http://www.builtlean.com

Nicol A Hodges

Nicol A. Hodges aka "Nic" is fitness professional (NASM, CPT/PES) and product designer living in San Diego, CA. Nicol's athletic background started in her hometown of St. Charles, MO where she earned her 400m state ranking 3 years in a row. Later, at the University of MO, Columbia she earned 8-Big 12 Track and Field titles and a championship title. Nicol currently continues her love for running by competing in local and national running events.