I want to share a frequently asked question I was asked the other day.
“I went to a class yesterday, and I am so sore. For today, is it better to rest the muscles that are sore or do more exercises that target the same area? ”
The body will be especially sore if it has not worked out in a while. The body is just defending itself from the trauma. That soreness is lactic acid which the body releases to defend and heal muscle. Performing new things or extra intense things (workouts) you may become sore. To answer the question, yes, it is best to rest. It is recommended that muscles are not trained on consecutive days. So if arms are trained on Monday they shouldn’t be trained until at least Wednesday. This also why programs are designed to often split the body up so you can train everyday without doing the same part twice.
- Individuals recover at different rates. Recovery is also dependant on nutrition, sleep and rest in general.
- You may still workout a muscle if it still has soreness as long as it is done on non-consecutive days.
- Soreness can be good! It means the muscle was worked beyond its threshold. Now it must adapt, strengthen and grow.
- Listen to your body! If you feel weaker during training you may be over-training. Muscles will not improve if they do not receive adequate time to heal.
- Remember, muscles DON’T grow in the gym, they grow when we rest!