Any weight trainer will tell you that muscle soreness hurts! If you have spent any time in the gym you don’t need me to tell you that. However, having sore muscles isn’t always a bad thing. Unless you experience some degree of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short) then you haven’t challenged your muscles beyond what they are already accustomed to, and if you don’t place enough stress on the muscles you can’t shock them into growth.
Muscle soreness refers to the aching pain you experience in your muscles that comes about one or two days after your workout and may last up to a week. This type of soreness is usually not associated with much swelling or inflammation and it is usually relieved when the sore muscle is exercised. This is different to the sharp pain associated with soft tissue injury which usually results in swelling and gets worse when the affected muscle is exercised.
In the first several weeks of starting a new weight gain training program, the muscle soreness alone may lead you to consider quitting, but in time I believe that you will come to look at moderate soreness as a sign that you had an effective weight training session. With adequate diet and nutrition in place, you will ensure that the recovery time will be reduced.
What causes muscles to get sore after an intense workout?
After much debate on the effects of lactic acid build-up, most experts agree that DOMS is caused by small tears in muscle fibers that occur during training sessions when you place a stress on your muscles that it is not already equipped to handle.
Your body responds to these tears by repairing the small injury in a way that leads to increased muscle size (hypertrophy) and strength, thus making your muscles better prepared to handle the increased load. When you lift more weight than your muscles are used to, like you do in a mass training program, this causes small tears and while your body is repairing itself you feel really sore, but in the end you end up with bigger stronger muscles!
Many women who struggle to gain weight don’t see results because they fail to give their body sufficient recovery time and nutrients that it needs during the repair process in order to achieve sexy muscle gains. It is extremely important, especially after a heavy training session to give your muscles the adequate nutrition, including plenty of high calorie foods, drink plenty of water and sleep at least 8 hours each day. This are important guidelines to follow when building muscle and you must pay close attention to every step.
Proper sleep cannot be overstated because most muscle growth takes place when you’re sleeping. In fact, several hormones including growth hormone are at their highest levels when you are sleeping. Listen to your body, you know your body better then anyone, and if you feel exhausted or that you have been over training, then get more sleep.
It is critical that you listen to your body. If you are extremely sore or feel exhausted then don’t train! I would recommend postponing your next training sessions until you experience some relief. If you don’t take care of your muscles and give your body what it needs to build you desired physique, then your training will be counterproductive.