08 February 2010

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

So last Friday, I finally went back to the gym after over a year. However this isn't to say that I was sedentary for all of 2009 -- I ran quite a bit outside, in part to train for the 5K in downtown Kansas City last August. So while I have a little bit of cardiovascular stamina left over, I estimate I've probably lost a good 5-7 pounds of muscle in the last 12 months or so.

The hardest part about starting to work out again is obviously the pain. I was not used to it. It was ... interesting when my body rebelled after the first set of military presses, like "Um, WTF are you doing? This is heavy." Given that I hadn't lifted weights for such a long time, I took it relatively easy with the poundage and will build back up in a couple of weeks. I finished my shoulder workout, did a couple of miles on the treadmill, went home and awaited the soreness.

It hit me on Sunday when I sat up to get out of bed: a searing, acute pain across my shoulder blades that made me wince every time I rotated my arms or tried to lift them above my head. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), where the muscles that you tear during a new workout begin to rebuild themselves 24 to 48 hours after the increased activity. The pain stops when the muscles have fully recovered -- completely healed and stronger than before.

I'd forgotten about how absolutely sore I could get! This was actually worse than the pain of exhausting muscles during the workout -- at least that pain subsided in less than a minute. However, it's a good kind of pain, one that lets me know that I'm starting to get back in shape. Plus, subsequent workouts will be less painful as I get used to lifting again. In all, it's a great feeling, even though my arms feel like they're going to fall off. Back to the gym I go.

You probably won't see another post of me moaning about working out for a while ... that is, until I get on that P90X.

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