I just started lifting weights for the first time and I have been incredibly sore. I know I should expect some soreness, but how much is normal?
Some people, even experienced athletes, get extremely sore when they start a new program, and that is perfectly normal. The pain you are feeling is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. DOMS usually peaks 24-72 hours following a tough workout. This soreness is the result of all the micro damage you have done in the muscle, but through the repair of that damage you develop size. Some people can be sore for up to a week, especially from leg training. After a few months of workouts you will know how much soreness is normal for your body. Then you can adjust your training to reduce it. You can also reduce soreness by paying attention to your warm-ups, doing some post-workout stretching and getting massages. You should also pay close attention to your body. If your soreness is accompanied by swelling, lack of strength or sharp pains, you may be injured and should seek medical attention.