This article will just be a short article based on my personal experience and how to combat soreness. This is why you remain sore after a workout.
- Your body received novel stimulus
- It lasts between 24 hours to a few days
- Stretching, whether dynamic or static will help
Your body received novel stimulus
Soreness is NOT an indicator of muscle growth. Many people make this misconception. They want to “destroy” their muscle so they will feel sore as hell the next day and then they feel like they have actually worked the muscle and thus will attain muscle hypertrophy. Boy, are they wrong.
Soreness, also known scientifically as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), occurs when you put your body through something new. Maybe you never bench pressed in your life, the soreness that hits your triceps afterwards will make you not want to roll out of bed. Maybe you stopped working out for a few months and decided to bust out a few sets of heavy bicep curls. Next thing you know, it is so hard to pick up the spoon from your dinner table.
Soreness can occur to anyone at any training stage. However, if you push through the soreness, more often than not, it will go away after a while. This is provided that you stick to a workout routine. This is not to say that your body is not growing. In fact, you should be increasing the intensity of your workout (more reps/more weight). This will ensure progressive overload (main indicator of muscle growth) although you may not feel sore after doing the same thing for more than a week.
How long will soreness last and will I risk overtraining?
DOMS, can last between 24 hours to a few days. Based on my personal experience, it lasts around 4 days maximum (worst case scenario). It should get better as days go by. As long as you do not feel any sharp pain, it is fine. Don’t worry, you did not injure yourself.
Although overtraining is a factor that may occur, I highly doubt so. Stick to your routine, continue overloading at a steady rate. You will not risk overtraining. Don’t stay in the gym for more than 2 hours (you are probably circlejerking at that point). Don’t keep the intensity at 100% throughout the whole workout. It is just impossible to keep up with it.
There should be heavy sets and light sets to balance it out. Soreness is almost a non-factor if you stick to these basic principles. So do not worry. (Linked a great video from Jeff Nippard explaining the concept of overtraining and why it occurs more rarely than you think).
How do I fix this soreness?
Honestly, the best solution is to sleep and recover. Sleep is really the best form of recovery you can get. However, if you want to accelerate this process slightly, you can add some forms of dynamic or static stretching.
Personally, I find forearm soreness to be the worst kind. I believe that Athlean X made a great video showcasing this stretch which I believe feels damn good and everyone should try it. It really helps, whether placebo or not.
As for dynamic stretching, using a foam roller or swinging your arms around or doing some kind of motion to that body part will most likely be very beneficial.