You may love it. You may hate it.
Muscle soreness is one of those things that can leave you feeling like you want to spend the day in a wheelchair or sadistically satisfied…
Either way, everyone wants to know what can you do to bounce back as fast as possible from post workout muscle soreness.
Here are the most effective methods to speed up your recovery between sessions and get rid of ‘delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
HOT / COLD CONTRAST SHOWERS
Just take a 5 minute shower, and alternate between 1 minute cold and 30 seconds hot, showering the water onto the muscle you want to help recover.
Hot water makes the blood vessels dilate and cold water makes the blood vessels constrict thus pushing fresh blood in and out of the cells to help clear out waste material and bring nutrients in which help speed up repair and recovery.
Although it can be time consuming and expensive, just one good massage can make an enormous difference (if you find a good therapist).
A well administered massage is far more effective than a session of foam rolling if you really are feeling beaten up as the therapist will be able to direct more attention onto those hard to reach areas.
You might actually avoid the painful spots or just spend a few seconds on them if they’re particularly sore but a therapist will keep going and speed up recovery by flushing new blood in and out whilst breaking down troublesome connective tissue.
You can of course spend some time doing this yourself with an small investment into a massage gun.
Having a good stretch at the end of a workout will NOT magically repair microscopic muscle damage caused by lifting weights.
BUT it will help in the same way as the other methods we’ve discussed already.
Light stretching post workout or the following day will speed recovery by bringing new oxygenated, nutrient rich blood into the area.
One of the favourite methods used inside my coaching community is to simply – workout again.
There’s nothing better for improving blood flow than doing a workout, provided it won’t further damage the muscles already sore from previous workouts.
Jumping on a bike on the day after a leg session (let’s face it, legs always feel worse), is an example of active recovery.
Training opposing muscles on alternate days is also a very intelligent way to structure a program (like the programs I deliver to my clients 😉
For example; you train your chest on a Monday and on Tuesday your chest is sore so you train your back. This will circulate blood through the body and speed up your chest muscle recovery.
EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Even more important than improving blood flow after a workout is ensuring you consume enough protein.
Protein is the key nutrient for growth & repair and is essential to your recovery. If you’re no eating enough you aren’t going to recover and repair optimally.
It’s recommended anyone lifting weight should aim to consume 1g per pound or 2.2g per kilogram of lean body weight per day as a good basepoint.
If you’re one of those people who actually likes muscle soreness after a workout and you’re struggling to make progress..
..you might benefit from a few tips or a complete overhaul with your training and nutrition.
I’ll show you the most effective way to train and how to eat to maximise recovery and results.