I have a client that trains with one of my small groups. We’ll call her Mary. Like so many of clients that come in to see me, she has several “goals”.
She wants to get stronger.
She wants to look good for her self-confidence and for her spouse.
She wants to be more resilient to deal with the things moms often deal with.
She wants to play with her kids and with the grandkids (when they come).
Mary also wants to get back to where she was physically before her babies came. (No, she won’t get there 100%, but she’d like to at least get the function of her abdominals back:)
Not too much to ask, right?
So what is the best way for her to go about doing this?
I also forgot to mention that Mary used to do a training program that was super intense with no real rhyme or reason behind it. It was just her, along with several other people, working hard and maybe seeing the results they were after.
But at the same time, Mary probably felt like doo-doo when she finished up each and every training session.
Now I’m not sure about you, but if I had to pick the kids up, drop the kids off, grocery shop, prepare meals for myself and my family, and then do the other thousand and one things I had to do each day, feeling like doo-doo from my super intense workout wouldn’t help do any of those things very well.
And that’s exactly what Mary told me when she walked out the door.. She said, “I like how I feel after we get done training. It’s not like Crossfit. This is super challenging, but I still feel like a human afterwards. I feel like I can still accomplish the things I need to accomplish.”
I say all that to get where we are now.. Below I’ll discuss ways you probably shouldn’t feel after a workout, how you should feel, and then some good stretches/soft tissue work for certain areas of the body that often do get sore from a workout.
Now I’m not saying that if you participate in a smart training program you won’t get sore. I’m just saying that your workouts shouldn’t destroy you!
Things You Shouldn’t Feel After A Workout
- Nauseous- Yes, this may happen from time to time. If you haven’t worked out hard for a long time (or ever) and then you do a challenging workout, you might feel light-headed or sick to your stomach. But this shouldn’t happen consistently.
- Joint Pain- Muscle soreness is normal. Joint pain is not. Yes, accidents do happen. But if you are doing exercises meant for Olympic athletes, maybe rethink what you are doing.
- Dehydration- Don’t be a dummy. Hydrate before, during, and after a workout. If you aren’t sure, take a look at your sweat and your pee. For the most part, if you stop sweating and/or your pee is any darker than lemonade, you are likely dehydrated. For more info, check out this chart from Precision Nutrition.
Things You Should Feel After A Workout
- Fatigued- If you are working out for any reason at all, (general health, fat loss, muscle building, endurance, sports performance) it should feel like you did something. You shouldn’t be crawling out the door, but you should feel something.
- Energized- This may sound crazy, but as long as you slept well, ate the right foods, and trained smart, you should have more energy afterward.
- Happy and Smarter- Working out releases endorphins which can produce positive feelings. There’s also research that BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) increases due to exercise. BDNF promotes brain function and encourages the growth of new neurons. Check out THIS article for more details.
- Hungry- I’m always ready for my post-workout re-fueling! Make sure you are eating to re-fuel within 60-90 minutes of your workout.
Although it might not come right away, muscle soreness (not joint soreness) is normal. If you did any kind of strength training, your muscles will break down. The rebuilding of those muscles is why you are sore.
It’s also why protein is so important:) Protein helps rebuild those muscle fibers so they can grow stronger.
So what can you do with those muscles that are sore or feeling a little tight in the days following a workout? I’m glad you asked:)
- Go for a walk or do some other type of low intensity cardio. While this type of training isn’t too challenging, it is super important when it comes to recovery and getting your mind right (Especially if it’s done outside in nature:)
- For sore glutes
- For sore quads
- For a sore chest
- For sore neck/shoulders
No matter what kind of workouts you enjoy, make sure you remember that what you do now, can and will affect how you move in the future. So TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE.
If you don’t currently have a place to train or if you are training somewhere that may not live up to the standards outlined here, contact me HERE and we can get you started on achieving the fitness goals you have for yourself!