Anyone who has done demanding physical exercise for the first time in weeks/years knows how painful the day after is. To be honest, a lot of people will stop working out because it hurts so bad. I even know a few people like this.
When people exercise they are actually breaking down muscle tissue and during recovery is when the body repairs the muscle and makes it stronger. Unfortunately, if your muscles are not commonly used to such an extent they will ache for a couple days after the workout. However there is actually a secret to stop the pain from re-occurring. Its actually very simple. Do not stop exercising for an extended period of time. When your muscles are put through agony over and over again they will adapt, become stronger, and be used to being broken down.
For pain after running- If your legs hurt the day after running, do not run the next day. Instead wait until your legs barely feel sore anymore. Then go for another run. Even though your legs will still be slightly sore, they will not hurt as badly as the day after your first run. By doing this your muscles will become accustomed to exercise and they will gradually no longer hurt the day after. This will only take 1-2 weeks in most cases. One important thing to remember is to try to eat a good amount of protein because the amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle and will be the thing your body will need to repair the muscle adequately.
For strength training- This is slightly more complicated. I suggest only training a muscle group once a week giving that muscle 7 full days to repair. I suggest something like this Monday- back/biceps, Tuesday-off day, Wednesday- triceps/chest/shoulder/traps, Thursday-off, Friday-legs, Saturday/Sunday- off. By training like this you would be working each muscle group directly as well as indirectly ( training back directly train biceps indirectly and vise versa and so on and so forth). This will also allow adequate recovery time.
If you are looking to lose body fat I also suggest low or high intensity cardio on off days ( whichever ones you wish - it could be all off days or it could be 1 off day). It is also very, very, very important that you eat a meal high in protein and high in complex carbs less than an hour after getting out of the gym otherwise your muscles could break themselves down for energy because so much was used during the workout. 40-50g protein and 50g-70g of carbs. Doing this will also make soreness far less severe. This is only for weight training days or days with high intensity cardio.
You will also notice that the day after weight lifting you will be extremely sore and it is common to still be sore the next week by the time you are supposed to hit that muscle group again. If this occurs go ahead and do the workout and by the following week you will no longer get sore after lifting.
Protein is very important when it comes to strength training so be sure to eat a lot of it! In my honest opinion weight lifting is the best way to lose body fat because it burns an enormous amount of calories. Also, for every pound of muscle that is on your body you naturally burn 50 more calories a day. This is why body builders who are 200+ pounds can eat literally over 5000 calories a day and stay ripped.
Tip- Try eating 5-7 smaller meals a day instead of 3 big ones. I think you will find that you have more energy throughout the day as well as stay fuller and more satisfied.
Please, if anyone has any specific questions, email us and I will dedicate an entire post to your question. I want to write about issues that will relate directly to YOU! Remember, if you have a question, other people are probably wondering the same thing. Let's all help each other.
Tony isn't a licensed nutritionist yet, so he can't give anyone advice on what to do. Please consult your doctor for his professional opinion on a diet/nutrition program that will work for you.
Tony's blog is a journal of his experiences and what has worked for him. He lists general guidelines and suggestions only. He is NOT a professional.
(all photos google images)