A lot of people who start working out also notice the muscle soreness on the next day. And the participants of our "100 Days WorkOut" programm are no exception from this rule. I would recommend you to get used to this feeling, because now it will be your faithful companion through life. But today's info-post I devote to a discussion of reasons of such kind of pain in muscles and how can you deal with that. Although many people still believe that muscle pain is an indication that you had a good workout, but in reality it is not.
Four kinds of muscle pain
The first kind is like a burning sensation, it occurs directly during exercise and increases as we approach the last reps. It is connected with the fact that a muscle working in anoxic (anaerobic) mode gradually accumulates the so-called lactate (lactic acid) and ions of of hydrogen. More information about the muscles, their structure and energy supply will be discussed in the ADVANCED block.
The second kind is a dull, bursting pain in the muscles, sometimes reaching the level of pain with cramps, occurs when the muscle is subjected to considerable effort being in an extremely flexed state. Try to flex your triceps, withdrawing your arm back and straightening the elbow, and you will feel such kind of pain in it. This happens because significant flexion leads to squeezing the nerve endings which are located between them. This can lead to even further flexing of muscle fibers, and, accordingly, their twitch with even more pain.
The third kind of pain occurs under tension and usually it occurs not in the muscles themselves, but in their tendons under heavey strong external state (load side) tensile forces. This kind of pain is registered by special stretching receptors (sensors) - proprioceptors.
The fourth kind of pain you feel the next day or a day after tomorrow. This pain appears because of micro-ruptures in the muscles, which were obtained during the exercise. These micro-tears hurt.
Muscle pain and results
For a long time it was believed (and in the Internet you can still find this information), that a sign of muscle growth is muscle pain the next day after a workout, but the latest research in this area shows that there is no correlation between muscles micro-tears and muscle growth.
The reason for the pain is that the muscle fibers initially have different length and not always grow the same way. Short and improperly fused fibers are broken when you workout (these are the very micro-breaks), which leads to inflammation in the muscles, the result of which is muscle pain. With time and training these fibers (called myofibrils) come in uniformity, becoming of equal length and start to grow strictly parallel to each other.
However, muscle growth does not stop at this point. Why? Because muscle growth is related to other factors:
- The presence of anabolic hormones (correctly chosen load in training)
- The presence of amino acids in the blood (proper nutrition)
- The presence of hydrogen ions and free creatine (correctly chosen training regime)
Right now that's what you need to know, but we'll come back and look at this issue in detail in the ADVANCED block
Post-workout muscle soreness is relatively safe and goes away after a while, though, of course, the pain can be amplified when trying to exercise using same muscles you've used yesteerday or during their palpation.