Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness
Have you found that you are sore 1-2 days post-workout? The soreness that you are feeling is referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness. Although it will vary in intensity, we will generally start to experience this soreness about 8 hours post-workout and it will peak at 24-48 hours. For most people, soreness is a normal result of exercise. However, if you are finding that you are extremely sore, like hard to walk sore, that is a different story. Below we will discuss some common causes for soreness as well as strategies to help reduce soreness and avoid the debilitating kind.
Causes
  1. Number of repetitions: the volume of work performed contributes to a workout’s affect on muscle tissue
  2. Speed of repetitions: research has show that faster repetitions tend to cause greater strain.
  3. Range of motion: the greater the range of motion, the greater the engagement of the muscle.
One thing that is missing from this list is weight. Weight on the barbell does not contribute the same way to soreness as the above three. Think about how you have felt the day after heavy back squats versus how you have felt after a workout like Karen (150 wallballs) or Cindy (AMRAP 20: 5 pull-ups/10 push-ups/ 20 squats).
Adaptation and Scaling
Our body will tend to adapt through the ‘repeated bout effect’. This means that, through exposure and experience, your muscles will adjust to a specific stimulus. Thus, it is important to work within your ability and progress gradually, allowing your muscles to develop a tolerance for higher and faster levels of work.
Nutrition
Exercise causes micro-tearing of our muscle fibers. The recovery process starts immediately after exercise and we want to provide out body with sufficient tools to recover. Our body will use protein to help repair the damaged muscle tissue and carbohydrates to replenish cells’ energy stores (glycogen). However, if we do not consume enough carbohydrates post-workout our body will convert protein to glucose to help replenish cell’s energy stores. This happens through the process of gluconeogenesis. This means that our body has less protein to use for muscle cell repair!
A good post-workout strategy is 1-2 grams of carbs for every 1 gram of protein (1-2:1). So, if you have 25 grams of protein you should aim to ingest 25-50 grams of carbohydrates.
In general, an active person should aim to consume approximately .8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, a 200 pound male should aim to consume 160-200 grams of protein. That is quite a bit of protein, and is hard for some people to get through regular nutrition. We recommend tracking your protein intake for 1-2 days and then, if necessary, using a protein supplement to help you reach your target.
Sleep
Our body produces human growth hormone (HGH) to aid in the growth and repair of muscle tissue. We produce higher levels of HGH during deep sleep, REM, cycles (don’t worry, if HGH made you huge Lance Armstrong would be JACKED). If the quality of our sleep is poor, we are missing the most crucial recovery available to our body!