Legs sore from cardio

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    Maybe I'm overdoing the cardio, but I find that every time I do it, my legs get sore to the point where I have trouble working out my legs the next day. In this past week, I already had to skip working out my lower body because of the soreness. Should I tone down the cardio a bit? What are some advice to remedy this problem?

    Keep in mind that I just started working out a week ago after many years of inactivity and laziness.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    May 27, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    It's normal.

    Cardio involves the legs a lot. If you are having trouble moving, take it down a notch, and slowly build up. I ride a bike everywhere and still do legs and (short) cardio at the gym.
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    May 27, 2011 8:19 PM GMT
    It will take weeks to get through the soreness from running if you're just starting out. Just keep stretching and go easy with it. Your muscles will feel better before your joints, tendons or whatever are trained to handle the same stress. I've been using the treadmill more than the elliptical lately and I've noticed a real soreness with the leg extension afterwards, but it's a good soreness. I love the rock hard legs I get from running.
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    May 27, 2011 9:51 PM GMT
    The stretching is really good advice, but you need to know what stretches to avoid ("The New Power Program, Protocols for Maximum Strength", by Dr. Michael Colgan, has good discussion on stretches to avoid, and some of these stretches are recommended in other books!). You might also try different kinds of cardio, also changing your protocol. For example, if you are going hard for several minutes, you might change to briefer spurts, i.e. interval training. Also, if you're doing a split routine, probably should for now put maximum time between any hard cardio and legs workouts.
  • rdberg1957

    Posts: 656

    May 27, 2011 10:04 PM GMT
    It might be beneficial to find out what your anaerobic threshold is. You may not be getting much training benefit if you are working with too high a heart rate. I went to a trainer at my club who is certified as a technician and found out my anaerobic threshold was 104. I was very surprised. I was starting back doing cardio about a year after abdominal surgery. That threshold meant that I would not be training my heart and getting cardiac benefits unless my heart rate was mostly below 104. I have been doing cardio for about 8 months now and I'm sure my threshold is sgnificantly higher, but I trained mostly at lower heart rates and gradually ramped up where I am in the 100-115 range for most of my workout (I am 54). Before, when I was working out too hard for my fitness level, I would be exhausted after cardio and not be able to return to the gym for several days. With cardio, you want to stress yourself just a little, not a lot. One measure of cardio fitness is recovery time. How long does it take for you to go back to your resting heart rate after 20-30" of cardio?