2

votes

Any suggestions for mitigating extreme muscle soreness/weakness post workout? And Why is the weakness so extreme?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 05, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Just starting working out after 7 months of no exercise. When I was working out I was doing calisthenics type exercises (squats, lunges, whole body movement exercises, free weights) for over a year and I was in great shape. I haven't been doing much exercise at all, other than walking around the neighborhood with the dog (I have a sedentary office job). So unhappy with how quickly the muscle tone dissappeared and the weight re-appeared, therefore started working out again yesterday. I did warm up with some light jogging, then did 3 x 12 walking lunges, squats, and regular lunges along with a few other things like jumping jacks etc. finished with light stretching. I really do not think that I overdid it--I used to do a lot more. I thought I knew my limits well enough but now I can barely walk. This is unlike any muscle soreness I have ever experienced when beginning a new program or type of exercise. This pain is more like EXTREME WEAKNESS in my quads, rather than the run-of-mill "I have been lazy sore to the touch" type feeling like I have experienced in the past. I have never been this weak/sore that I was unable to sit down or get up easily or work out on the second day after intial excercise.

Could this be a "fuel" or nutrition issue? Aside from occasional cheats (vacations, holidays) I have been low carb for years and paleo (with dairy) for almost one year. My main diet staples are: eggs, tuna fish (canned), grass fed beef, pastured butter, coconut milk, heavy cream, venison, turkey and salad vegetables. I really ate very poorly SAD for ten days in December, but have been very strict for two weeks before this initial workout. I did not feel lightheaded or sick so I thought I was keto-adapted again and am able to fast for 16 hours easily. (stats: female, 39, 8 hours sleep a night)

I need a remedy (if one exists)! Any prevention tips also?

D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 07, 2011
at 01:34 AM

My intermittent post exercise issues began in my late 20s and early 30s and continue today (age 47) even after 3 years.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 07, 2011
at 01:11 AM

was it always like that for you, or was there a period of adaptation?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on January 06, 2011
at 04:51 PM

fasting for recovery? that is very interesting, thanks for sharing

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 06, 2011
at 02:58 AM

With you on the BCAA's, but train fasted and skip the banana, have the entire sweet potato, maybe 2 after the workout.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 06, 2011
at 02:11 AM

Agreed on the BCAA especially.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 05, 2011
at 11:55 PM

my n=1 has brought about the same for me: PWO (which is complex strength training) meal is lean meat and starchy carb from sweet potatoes. rest of the day and on off days im much much higher in fat and a little lower in starch.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:50 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/16447/mitigating-soreness#axzz1AByZDp29 sorry just found this thread, but if any of you have anything to add or any ideas why so different please comment. Thanks!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on January 05, 2011
at 07:48 PM

I neglected to mention that I take 3000 IU Vitamin D morning daily, and 50mg zinc tablet and drink 1 tsp magnesium citrate before bed. No other supplements or drugs.

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12 Answers

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2
E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326

(801)

on January 06, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I answered this question pretty thorougly here: Mastering Muscle Soreness

  • Deal with large rocks first: diet, sleep, and training.
  • Massage is extremely helpful
  • New research shows that caffiene significatly decreases muscle soreness- look at the comments at above link
  • There's also some good research that shows pre-workout BCAA's have a strong effect on muscle recovery.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 06, 2011
at 02:11 AM

Agreed on the BCAA especially.

2
A895c96ac1ef1d2e5d8b59b4462c2b71

on January 06, 2011
at 01:54 AM

Ditto on BCCAs. it'll take 5-10 days to recover. Part of taking time off, part of getting older (sorry). I'd eat half a sweet potato before and half after workouts as well. Be sure to eat protein before and after as well (more so after). Stay hydrated, eat a banana before bend. And do range of motion stretching. Myofascial release if you know how or have someone to help.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 06, 2011
at 02:58 AM

With you on the BCAA's, but train fasted and skip the banana, have the entire sweet potato, maybe 2 after the workout.

2
Medium avatar

on January 05, 2011
at 07:53 PM

This is a common reaction to a recent adoption of a workout plan. Were I you, I would take a lot of time off between workouts in the beginning until you acclimate to it.

You may want to also look into an HST-type workout. To save you some time, you basically just do 2 sets of whatever exercise you want to get better at 3x a week. So for me I wanted to get better at chinups so I started at 2 sets of 6 chinups (I think my max was 8 in the beginning, don't do your max for each set) 3x a week and now I do 2 sets of 13 3x a week. You want to increase the weight or reps or something each workout or at least each week. The strain per workout is greatly diminished and the overall efficacy of your workouts is massively increased. You will see great results. You could do a total body workout, but I just choose which movements I want to strengthen and work on those. Some movements are worthless, so I skip them.

The odds of injury or overtraining on a correctly-managed HST workout plan are practically nil. It's efficient and fun. Just resist the temptation to do a million sets. 2 sets of slightly sub-maximal reps. Good luck.

1
D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 06, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I too have had ongoing issues with intermittent excessive post exercise muscle soreness.

I also have intermittent post exercise malaise; e.g., 2-to-4 hrs post exercise, I sometimes have flu-like achiness (physical & mental) for 4 to 6 hours, with poor and unproductive sleep.

Two things help for me: (1) BCAAs & (2) fasting.

I take the BCAAs post exercise and believe they help with recovery; sometimes I add then to unflavored whey protein as well.

I do a keto-fast every Sat (FriPM-to-SunAM, 36 hrs); complete carb & protein restriction, and I eat coconut oil (6 tbs min), heavy cream, and ghee for energy.

I also do a very hard interval workout SatAM (swimming or running), and my recovery while fasting is always incredible. I can't explain exactly why this is, but I believe the introduction of carbs for me inhibits exercise recovery.

(I'd welcome reader comment/feedback if you have ideas!!)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4111)

on January 06, 2011
at 04:51 PM

fasting for recovery? that is very interesting, thanks for sharing

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 07, 2011
at 01:11 AM

was it always like that for you, or was there a period of adaptation?

D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 07, 2011
at 01:34 AM

My intermittent post exercise issues began in my late 20s and early 30s and continue today (age 47) even after 3 years.

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on January 06, 2011
at 03:36 AM

I would say all of the above answers (e.g. BCAAs, L-Glut, starchy tubers) may be a bit overkill with where you are in your fitness and training. I would say the main problem is you took 7 months off and then made your body move in ways it is not used to. This will result in soreness. Take time between workouts. Stretch daily. Foam, or better yet, pvc roll. Continue to workout and add in a variety of moves. Once you are able to train at a higher level, consider the more sophisticated recovery methods mentioned above. Best wishes on your smart decision to start your workout regime again.

1
1b52cbf14cfae77395838138c3903e31

on January 05, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Workout recovery can be greatly aided by the use of L-Glutamine (5-10 grams/day) as well as branch chain amino acids (BCAA for short - same dose). These amino acids are crucial for muscle growth and repair.

Additionally, research has shown that antioxidant supplementation before and after intense workouts can aid the recovery process. I recommend 3 grams of vitamin C daily.

It may be of benefit to have a Spectracell (spectracell.com) vitamin and mineral analysis performed.

1
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on January 05, 2011
at 11:35 PM

You might consider adding starchy tubers. I've found they significantly enhance my recovery.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 05, 2011
at 11:55 PM

my n=1 has brought about the same for me: PWO (which is complex strength training) meal is lean meat and starchy carb from sweet potatoes. rest of the day and on off days im much much higher in fat and a little lower in starch.

1
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on January 05, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Always watch out with doing a new lower body exercise for the first time (first time in seven months, same thing).

First time I did squats or a deadlift, I had the same problem. Now I know to take it easy on intensity in the first workout or two, so I don't totally destroy myself with delayed onset muscle soreness.

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on January 05, 2011
at 10:10 PM

GNBN:

Bad News, 7 months is more than enough time to lose some capability and conditioning.

Good News, if you have ever had the conditioning withing a few years back, you will find it easier to regain it that it was to earn it in the first place.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/returning-to-training-after-a-layoff-qa.html

In other related news, I have found NAC N-Acetyl-cystine at about 600mg a day to be a fantastic ache and weakness reliever, and it seems to sped strength recovery, not just kill soreness.

0
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 09, 2011
at 11:01 PM

"i have been very strict for two weeks before this initial workout. I did not feel lightheaded or sick so I thought I was keto-adapted"

BINGO Glycogen depleted. Next time don't overdo-it ( training @ VLC) and eat your carbs PWO. Do it regularly and you'll see results. Also Don't be "strict" , Be smart, don't blow it all eating SAD. Just be consistent, even if you compromise a bit here and there, thats fine!

0
69b0d54868bfbc6ccc34ae3bbacb18d6

on January 10, 2011
at 08:54 PM

As a San Diego personal trainer, most of my clients starting out experience muscle soreness due to their lack of exercise prior to training with me. Here is a great blog I wrote that explains how to help prevent and speed up the process of muscle soreness post workout.

0
F8c63410ad2ade1978775862befb95ff

on January 06, 2011
at 08:22 AM

I've heard cherries can reduce muscle soreness.

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