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The Pain! Coping With Post-Workout Soreness

Welcome to your workout’s Badge of Honor.

If there’s a universal truth when it comes to starting P90X or Insanity it’s this: You’re going to be sore. You’re going to feel it in muscles caught napping for the last few years. It may be the most sore you’ve ever felt in your life– a deep, almost painful soreness that might have you asking “Is this normal?”.

Good news: the soreness is completely normal. Better news: It goes away.

The first time I went though P90X Chest & Back (with Ab Ripper X) I pushed it. My arms were noodle-riffic and my abs went through the glorious feeling of a thousand suns (with a little bit of rest). I felt pretty good… until later that night when the soreness began kicking in. The next morning, I could hardly lift my arms and any touch to my chest had me whimpering like a hungry baby. The next day, Plyometrics gave me the gift of sore from head to toe and when it came time for Legs and Back, my waddle and hobble had me putting old men to shame.

But… the soreness did go away.

So, a couple things to battle soreness so you can humbly wear you Badge of Honor on the inside instead of showing the world your tender hobble:

Drink Up

Take the Recovery Formula. Hard workouts will leave you sore, but the recovery formula (taken exclusively in the 20 minute window right after your workout) will reduce (not eliminate) soreness by quickly resupplying your body with ingredients that counteract and soothe the trauma you’ve just thrown its way. Vitamin C, E and Glutamine help reduce Oxidative/Muscle Stress while the sugar (yes, sugar– this is one of the few times you can splurge and it actually helps) spikes insulin which, when triggered post-workout,  has been termed the “Master Recovery Hormone”. Recovery science gets very “sciency”, but rest assured, there’s a noticeable difference between soreness with and without a Recovery Formula involved.

Stick It

The Stick. In a word: Magical. We use The Stick  like it’s going out of style. The Stick is a simple “wand” with hand grips bookending a row of PVC rollers/beads you can use to roll over your achiest muscles. Short of a professional sports massage (which I’d also recommend if you have the coin), this gadget allows you to give yourself a deep tissue rub-down, working out kinks and flushing lactic acid buildup that contribute to soreness. The Stick website isn’t much to look at, but their product is 120% awesome. You can order The Stick here and watch “The Doctors” discuss and demonstrate its magic right here.

A Rumble In Your Living Room

If you’re looking for something that will “get to the point” pretty quickly, P90X2 has introduced the proprietary rumble roller. You can read up on its magic here.The rumble roller is pretty fantastic in that it’s a foam roller that works similarly to The Stick but has knobs which act as a pressure point identifiers you can “lean into” and work on releasing “trigger points” that tend to form up in sore muscles. In short, it’s miraculous. You can purchase the Rumble Roller here and I promise, your life will never be the same.

Rinse and Repeat

Most importantly, keep doing your workouts. The thought might bring a tear  to your eye, but you’ll find as you warm up and stretch, the initial “unbearable” soreness goes away. And as a bonus “I’m too sore” excuse blaster: since soreness is normal, it’s OK to work out when you’re feeling it. Fact is, you simply need to suck it up and push through it.

In a week or two, your workouts shouldn’t leave you too sore at all. In the mean time stretch, take your Recovery Formula and get past it. We’ve all been there, so here’s a hug and a hearty “Welcome to the club!” 

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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Kristin says:

    I really thought I was going to die if I had to pick my baby up one more time on Wednesday. Thank you for the advice. After reading online that insanity is not for beginners I questioned my choice… But thanks to your posts and mc I’m not giving up.

  2. Danv says:

    No worries! “Beginner” is pretty subjective. All Insanity first-comers feel like beginners, guaranteed! MC and I were dying. You’ll still sweat and gasp for air but you’ll find in a week or two you’ll be able to keep up and recover much more quickly as your body adjusts and your endurance increases. Just make sure you do all the stretching to avoid injury!

  3. Aaron says:

    I was always sore until I discovered the Recovery Drink. Now, I’m never sore. It’s an orange-cicle flavored miracle from heaven.

  4. Dan says:

    Preach it, Brother!

  5. Gus says:

    Looking for advice on the ideal type of rub down I can perform on myself with oils or in the shower pre and post workout to prevent (rather puspone) lactic acid build up, especially in deltoids and then legs, its becoming a major fatigue problem during muay thai :(

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