Sore all the time?
September 20, 2010 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Are people who work out regularly sore all the time? Or does that pass?
posted by smackfu to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, if you're doing it right it doesn't pass since you keep stepping it up, but the things that make you sore now will be easy within like two weeks if you keep it up.

posted by EtzHadaat at 6:51 AM on September 20, 2010

It passes, assuming you're doing a sane workout and not one of these body-building "pump it to collapse" routines. Break yourself in gently, little and often, gradually increase to a level that gives you the results you want. If you stick with it the aching passes as your body becomes stronger and acclimatised to the work.

Might be an idea to have a few sessions with a personal trainer so s/he can steer you right in the early, painful weeks...
posted by Decani at 6:53 AM on September 20, 2010

It definitely passes, but it requires consistency for a while. When I started doing Crossfit I could barely move after some workouts, now it's rare for me to hurt that much unless it's some insane endurance workout like Angie, and now that I think of it the last time I did that one I was mostly fine the next day.

That said, if you are pushing yourself, especially with weight training, expect some soreness...but it should be good soreness that tells you you've worked hard, not pain that disables you.
posted by dubitable at 6:54 AM on September 20, 2010

It's called DOMS and it'll mostly fade, but if you keep at the workouts you'll learn when to expect it and how to learn from what your body is telling you.
posted by unixrat at 7:01 AM on September 20, 2010

Definitely passes. When I started cycling to work, for the first 2-3 weeks my legs were constantly a bit sore/tired/stiff, but after that they adapted and didn't feel sore any more.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:02 AM on September 20, 2010

I used to jog home 5-6kms 3 times a week. the first few weeks my legs were really sorre a day or so afterwards. but then a month or two into it there was nothing.

tired in the evening but totally fine the next day. no soreness.
posted by mary8nne at 7:19 AM on September 20, 2010

I've seen this question asked a few times here. It passes or you just get used to it. Take it easy mate.
posted by evil_esto at 7:23 AM on September 20, 2010

It totally passes and seems to stay away even if you fall off the wagon for a few days.

(Side note: an advil seemed to clear aching and stiffness right up for me when the they got too bad.)
posted by generichuman at 7:37 AM on September 20, 2010

It passes, but sometimes I still discover whole new muscles I'd never noticed before (and I only learn about them 'cause they hurt.)
posted by asperity at 7:39 AM on September 20, 2010

It totally depends on what you mean by "working out." For me, cardio stuff only makes me sore if I go extra hard one day or have a lapse of a week or more between workouts. For lifting, I have a slight tightness and semi-soreness more or less all the time, but it's more of a pleasant reminder of having lifted than a painful soreness. Of course, if I overdo it one day there can be a more intense pain that can last a while.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:50 AM on September 20, 2010

Yeah, it depends.

If you are working out regularly:

If you push to or close to your limit all the time, you'll always have some soreness/fatigue regardless of what kinds of workouts you do.

If you workout kinda hard but vary your workouts (cardio here, soccer there, tennis there, lifting here, etc) you'll probably have some soreness all the time 'cause your constantly working different muscles and working them kinda hard.

If you do the same thing all the time and it isn't so intense, probably little to no soreness after your body gets used to what your are doing.

Overarching rule is enough sleep and proper nutrition enhance recovery and lessen soreness, allowing you to push harder for longer with relatively less adverse effects (i.e. you can burn more calories or get your mile time down faster with relatively less wear on your body).

IANAD, just personal experience.
posted by 3FLryan at 8:40 AM on September 20, 2010

For me, that effect passes after just a few workouts as long as I keep going to the gym regularly. Something like half a dozen workouts over a couple of weeks will be enough. Slowly increasing the weights I lift as I get stronger doesn't really bring the post-workout soreness back.

However, doing a different routine, with either different exercises or more sets than I usually do, will bring the pain back in a hurry, until I start doing the new routine a few times a week.
posted by FishBike at 8:56 AM on September 20, 2010

It passes. I've started to work out, only to quit because my arms and legs would ache. When I finally became determined to stick with it and workout through the soreness, it went away (after a couple of weeks).
posted by tomtheblackbear at 9:25 AM on September 20, 2010

I just got a personal trainer this past weekend.

She told me she is sore 24/7.

But she says she enjoys the soreness because it means she is always getting stronger and working her muscles right.

So it really depends I think on what you're trying to do, be it maintain or push farther. She is obviously always trying to push farther.

(and she is normal looking, not some she-hulk or anything).
posted by arniec at 10:40 AM on September 20, 2010

If we're talking about lifting: you generally won't have soreness as intense as when you first begin a new workout regimen, or when you return to one after a long layoff. That said, if you're continually making progress rather than doing the same thing over and over, you will have some degree of soreness for a large percentage of the time, depending on what kind of program you're following.
posted by JohnMarston at 10:40 AM on September 20, 2010

Also, the best things for keeping soreness in check are food and rest. Chronic soreness can mean insufficient recovery, which is usually due to not enough food and/or not enough rest. Fish oil capsules are said to help as well. NSAIDs can be taken for really bad cases, but it's not a good thing to make a habit of.
posted by JohnMarston at 10:44 AM on September 20, 2010

Everyone's different. I have a serious DOMS problem, so I'm pretty much always sore (I lift 2-4 times per week). But there's a vast difference between my current soreness, and the practically incapacitated feeling I have after taking a few weeks off and starting to lift again.

If you're like me, you'll learn pretty soon the difference between a good soreness and a bad one, and learn to love the good one. (OTOH, some people get sore for a week or 2, then it just disappears.)
posted by coolguymichael at 11:08 AM on September 20, 2010

I lift 2-3 times a week. I'm sore the next day, but it's not debilitating the way it was for the first couple months when I started. Light/mild cardio usually helps it go away, and then I'm fine again the following day.
posted by egeanin at 11:40 AM on September 20, 2010

It does pass within a few weeks, but like others have said, it might be because you're ready to go a bit heavier on the weights. But once you get used to it (four to six weeks, IMHO), the pain won't be nearly as bad.

After your workout, a nice long soak in a hot bath with epsom salts can really make a difference.

I always say I'd rather have the aches and pains of working out than the aches and pains of not working out. Kudos to you for getting in shape!
posted by xenophile at 11:59 AM on September 20, 2010

It depends on your goals. If you're exercising for 30 minutes a day just to get cardio in for heart health, then most likely not. If you're training for something or increase your intensity, then yes but sometimes. If you don't stretch properly afterwards, then yes.

FWIW, I've been a distance runner for 15 years and am doing two marathons in October and just completed two triathlons in August and September. I don't get sore after some of my runs, but after my long training runs or speedwork, my body feels like it was hit by a bus.
posted by floweredfish at 12:02 PM on September 20, 2010

I agree with everything 3FLryan said - it certainly passes as your body gets used to your regimen, but every time you change up your workout, you'll be sore in different areas. General muscle soreness (as opposed to acute pain) isn't a bad thing, it means you're actually effectively working out. No soreness at all could mean you are working out below your fitness levels.

I drink a glass of milk (chocolate or plain) straight after every workout/exercise session and think it helps for next day soreness. I don't think this is a placebo effect - science has seemed to back this up, recently.

When I'm really sore, some really light cardio to warm my body/muscles up seems to help - a 10 minute brisk walk or light jog, some prancing about on the spot.
posted by shazzam! at 2:07 AM on September 21, 2010

I'm not extremely sore all the time, but if I'm not a little bit sore I know I've been slacking. I think feeling your muscles, being aware of them and the fact that they have been worked, is a good thing, and the goal of the type of work I do (which is somewhat random and works different body parts all the time) is to avoid the kind of adaptation that keeps you from getting sore.
It took at least a year before I went from sore all the time to usually just "awareness" sore on my former intense regimen.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:18 PM on September 23, 2010

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