Knowing when to rest...

  • GayGuardBoy

    Posts: 4

    Feb 01, 2013 5:32 PM GMT
    Dear Realjock Members,

    So I recently went to the gym this passed Wednesday and got a free consultation with a trainer. I'm a swimmer by nature (18+) years and can whip water workouts out of the back of my hand, but knew nothing about the gym. We started with basic stuff, cardio first for about 20 minutes, then to large exercise groups like bench press, cable rows, cable pulldowns, then to biceps and triceps, finally to legs. It wasn't so much a full workout as it was a sort of testing the waters and figuring out where my weight should be. I kinda felt that he was pushing the weight a little higher than I thought was appropriate, but he seemed to be a pretty buff guy and know what he was doing, and I thought I was a wimp, so I trusted him, and he was a decent spotter. Despite that, on Thursday I was REALLY sore. Like could not lift my arms 90 degrees away from my body without pain sore. Its now Friday and 20 minutes after popping 2 x 500 mg acetaminophen, my triceps and outer chest (the strands of muscles that start and pull from across your shoulder connecting to your pectorals, not sure what they are called) are both still quite sore. Should I even think to workout again today? I know that the whole point of working out is to induce muscle fatigue, but I'm nervous that if I go to the gym, my muscles won't be able to properly support the weight that we had picked out, or worse, that I will strain something and injure myself more and not be able to workout. I'm kinda at an impasse and I don't know what to do. Should a stop being a wimp, push through the pain and get back on that horse? Should I take another day or two and slightly step back my weight and try again? Or should I go, but avoid working the triceps and those outer pectoral/shoulder muscles? Thanks for your time and consideration.
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    Feb 01, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
    Look up "delayed onset muscle soreness." The soreness should diminish with a good warm-up. You need to get some blood pumping into those muscles. For lower-body DOMS, spinning on a bicycle will usually do it. For the upper-boddy muscles that you describe, you probably need some other light aerobic activity to warm them up. Maybe swimming some freestyle laps would do it. Or some basketball or racquet sport.

    Sitting around "resting" will make the soreness last for the longest time. (As opposed to over-training soreness, but what you describe sounds like DOMS.)
  • GayGuardBoy

    Posts: 4

    Feb 01, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
    So... What I'm taking away is that the soreness is technically a good thing, that its my muscles trying to adapt, and rather than let them relapse to a state of near useless-ness, I need to warm them up carefully and continue in order to get stronger... correct? And thanks for your responses to my inquiries, mindgarden.
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    Feb 01, 2013 7:58 PM GMT
    Well, pretty much. After the first week or so, it shouldn't actually be painful. Most of the time.
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    Feb 01, 2013 11:07 PM GMT
    You'll only get REALLY sore if you haven't worked out in a while. It will diminish over time. You don't have to experience DOMS to build muscle. Some do, some don't.