Let me start off by saying you don’t have to worry, this isn’t about the election.  This is about how people wear the soreness from their workouts as a badge of honor.


We have all been there.  We workout and leave the gym feeling nothing, then  BAM! the next morning it feels like you are a beat up sack of meat and feel like you need a wheel chair to take you from your bed to the bathroom.

Soreness is a poor gauge of how good a workout is.  Soreness in our body occurs due to our body adapting to new stresses we place on it.  If you are feeling so sore that you can’t move, chances are that you over did it in your workout.

SOME soreness should be expected as we change the stresses on the body with new exercises, training intensities, and weight.  This new stress is a necessary evil if you want to keep making gains as our fitness level improves  But even with these new stresses you shouldn’t feel so beat up that you can’t move.

If you do find yourself feeling beat up after a gym session you should program yourself an active rest day.  If you are feeling sore and beat up I know you feel like you don’t want to move.  The thing is if you don’t move you will continue to just stiffen up and feel sore. The best thing to do is move to get the blood flowing and warm up the muscle tissue.

A few ways you can work active recovery include:

Foam Rolling/Self Myofascial Release



Basically you are giving yourself a massage.  Massage will help warm the body up by bringing blood to the muscles you are rolling.  It will also work knots and stretch out the tissues.

You can either do a full body roll or just work the areas that feel tight or sore.



Yoga is a great way to stretch, get the blood flowing, and work stability through a variety of poses, flows and breathing techniques.

Steady state cardio done at a moderate pace


Usually I hate steady state cardio, but it is an effective recovery method.  Doing 20-30 minutes at a moderate pace is a great way to ease the mind due to the monotony of the exercise.  It is also a great way to get blood flow to the muscles.  Steady state cardio doesn’t only have to be done on a machine.

Going on a nice hike or playing games are great ways to work recovery as well.

Carries or sled work


Loaded carries are great to help reset the body.  They teach us good posture while helping us to stabilize the different joints in our body.


Sled work is effective because like constant state cardio it can be monotonous but the repetitive motions is good for blood flow and to relax the brain.  Sled work is also unique because whether you push, drag or pull it there is no eccentric movement (muscle lengthening) which is the type of movement that will get you sore.

What are some ways you like deal with your soreness and recovery from workouts?  Please feel free to share any methods or thoughts in the comments section below.

Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve provides in-home personal training as well as on-line coaching. You contact Steve at sjgsports@gmail.com with any questions or comments you might have.

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