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BeFIT Resources

Muscle Soreness After a Workout

- Posted in Health & Wellness Tips

Muscle soreness has two primary causes. The first soreness you experience happens during your workout (“the burn”) and should subside within a couple of hours. This is caused by lactic acid production. When you are training and your muscles are not getting enough oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis), lactic acid builds up. You can break down lactic acid by continuing to move and by doing light aerobic exercise (such as walking) after your workout.

The type of muscle soreness experienced, a day or two (and sometimes even three) after a workout is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). DOMS is caused by microscopic tears inside the muscles, resulting from weight-training or fully exhausting the muscles during cardio. This is normal.

To help prevent soreness in the future, and alleviate some of it now, be sure to:

  1. Always warm-up for 5-10 minutes and cool-down for at least 5 minutes
  2. STRETCH!! Stretch after a warm-up, during your workout, and after you are done. Only stretch when your muscles are already warm from some kind of light activity.
  3. Stay active. The more your muscles move, the faster they remove that lactic acid build-up.
  4. Rest the muscles you worked for 1-2 days after a workout. Take at least one day off between sessions, and if you are still very sore, take 2 days off. (This means from lifting, not from all exercise such as cardio).