When you've been roughed up in the gym or have gone through a particularly tough workout, you'll feel sore for a period of time whether it's a few days or over a week it happens. I've put myself through nearly 3000 Reps worth of exercise over the course of the last few days or so and yeah being sore at the moment is an understatement. Being sore isn't fun but it is a lesson and it doesn't mean you take a complete day off. With me there's no such thing but how do you handle yourself when this happens?
First off, being sore is a sign that your muscles have broken down and the muscle fibers need the chance to reproduce and grow with greater muscle density so for your next training playout you'll be stronger. Sore however is not the same as pain, that's how a whole other sport basically, it takes longer to come back from pain than it is being sore. Now what options do you have? Unless you're a professional athlete, being sore means you need to lay off the typical intensity you use and focus on taking in some good stretching, deep breathing, some Isometrics and practicing very low impact exercise.
These are just ideas but to get the full benefit you must find that form of recovery because not everyone recovers the same way. When I have sore days, I like to do Animal Flow, where the intensity isn't very high but I do feel it and I'm getting stretched. DDP Yoga is another great option, don't need to do a full hour of ass kicking training but do enough to where it feels really good, your body is being lengthened and you're getting your heart rate up. If you do or attempt the same intensity while you're sore, you're risking breaking up more muscle tissue and not giving it a chance to grow and you'll end up more than just pulling a muscle, you could tear something or worse. Your body needs a chance to grow muscle and letting it do it's job. I've gone through days where I was sore and just kept pushing and I paid the price for it, I ended up with a minor injury to my shoulders and wrists because I didnt allow my body to do it's job.
Many people believe being sore is like having a badge of honor, it's not fun at all and on days where you're so sore you can barely get out of bed there's something wrong there. Some have gone to such extremes (crossfit anyone?) that being sore means nothing but something to push past and get that through the session; when that happens, your body can only be pushed so far until you finally end up in the hospital over stupidity and paying out the ass for torn muscles, a ripped tendon or worse a broken bone regardless of where it is (I've had broken bones so don't even try to argue with me). I do believe however that being sore doesn't mean you should stop training, just lower the intensity and letting your body heal and repair itself so when you go hard again, you'll be at a higher level than the last time.
Many times when I was sore over the last 12 years or so, I practiced Chi Kung; doing different styles, holds, hand movements and loosening the joints, this gave my body the ability to recover faster and always came back stronger and had a greater mindset and will to reach a goal or at times go beyond it or close to it. Recovery is the opportunity to give your body a chance to bring it to optimum levels of intensity, endurance and strength. Sore does not mean give up, it just means back off a bit and letting things breathe and rest.
Be safe while you train and always have a blast. Recover with the best intentions and be on a mission the next time.
Today's Herb, Titan Post Workout Formula