When lifting weights and training damage to muscle tissue is a common occurrence. This happens because of the stress of resistance training on muscle tissue which in turn contributes to muscular hypertrophy (or the increase in muscle size) if the training is done properly.
When muscle tissue is damaged, you may feel soreness for a couple of days after the training. There are a few theories as to why delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs, but a great deal of research suggests that it’s a result of pain receptors being active due to the inflammatory activity of the muscle tissue damage.
The good news is that there are several ways to quickly recover from DOMS and to get right back into saddle of training and working on getting strong. Here are a few strategies to help you speed up your recovery and to minimize some of that soreness.
Self massage, or self applied manual therapy is a great way to increase blood circulation and to flush out waste products in those damaged areas. A simple massage with your hands, a lacrosse ball, or by effectively utilizing a foam roller for bigger muscle groups is a great way to do this. All it takes is a bit of applied resistance on your part to those stiff areas of the body.
If you work your massage technique by learning to apply the necessary pressure to a stiff muscle you’ll quickly find that you can eventually relax that muscle and work to get deeper into the areas that are inflamed the most from training and/or daily stress.
Sleep is critical for allowing your body to repair itself. When at rest your body’s natural production of growth hormone (GH) is elevated allowing for your body to catch up on repairing and rebuilding itself from everything you’ve done to break it down throughout the day. If possible it’s ideal to strive for getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night to help promote more muscle building. Without this recovery you’ll only stand to continue breaking down your body leaving only minimal time for recovery. This means that if you are lacking sleep that you could actually prolong muscle soreness and inhibit those desired muscle gains.
Stretching for many these days is something that is neglected all too often. Working to effectively stretch tight stiff muscles encourages an increase in range of motion (ROM) while also helping to restore function and mobility. Many people today have lifestyles where they sit behind desks and at cubicles for hours on end without doing anything to promote and advance their body’s function. Muscles stiffen and some of this requires extra effort on an individual’s part to stretch and move. Even in training certain tonic muscles will restrict mobility and the practice of stretching should be implemented by an individual to restore mobility and to help reduce soreness and tightness in those muscles.
After stressing your body through training you have essentially depleted your energy stores which means you need to replenish what has been lost. This is where nutrition comes into play. After training you want to make sure that you take the time to eat a healthy combination of proteins and carbohydrates to replenish your body so that your muscles can repair after the day’s work. These nutrients are necessary as your body will convert these for energy so that you can go out and function. So right after you complete your day’s training it’s vital that you consume a healthy dose of proteins and carbs in order to ensure that your muscles can repair and that you can build that much desired lean muscle mass. People don’t commonly see it this way, but your muscles start developing the moment you leave the gym and start feeding them after the hard day’s work.
Obviously when it comes to life in general and with treating muscle soreness you should work at being your own advocate. However, admittedly there are going to be moments where you might have some soreness or pain that you just can’t shake. If this is the case then ideally you want to be able to rely on things that don’t require some sort of pharmacological agent. If this is the case then you might see Cobrazol as an ideal option in such a case.