Knowing When to Push, When to Pull Back
I am sure by now all you have experienced the joy of sore muscles after a workout. Also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, DOMS for short. This happens typically after a workout where you put a lot of stress on your muscles. Sometimes you might feel it right after your workout, other times it can take close to 24 hours before you really start to feel the effect on your body. What does this really mean though? Is it good, is it bad?
A lot of people use this to justify whether or not they got a good workout in. Others may feel put off by it, and hesitant to come back into the gym. To be honest though it is a perfectly natural reaction that happens within the body. You shouldn’t be afraid of muscle soreness, but you shouldn’t try and exhaust your muscles to the point that you can’t move the next day either. It’s all about finding a good balance and listening to your body.
For me, I like feeling a little sore. That lets me know that I broke down the muscle tissue and now I need to let it rest and rebuild to get stronger. Please though don’t think that if you don’t feel sore that you didn’t get a good workout in, cause that’s not the case. Over time your body will adjust and get used to the different types of stress you put on it during your workouts. Once you get used to it, then maybe you can try and increase the intensity of your workouts. Maybe try picking up a little more weight, or moving a little faster/explosive. Or just try to do a little more than last time.
Though you do have to be careful not to overdue it as well. If you don’t let the muscles heal and rebuild and you just keep tearing them down you can cause damage to your tissue. So if you are feeling extremely sore after a workout, maybe take it easy. Doesn’t mean you can’t workout, just lower the intensity of your workout. Focus on body movement rather than weights. You can always workout with modifications. I had to do that a few times myself and that’s ok! Remember it’s all about finding a balance. Know when you can push your body, and when you have to pull it back.