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Just Started Exercising and Experiencing Soreness?

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.


Lift Away The Pain

Researchers at the University of Alberta studied the effects of weight training and cardio on backaches. Unless you have severely injured your back and the doctor has ordered bed rest, staying active, particularly lifting weights, will help you in recovery. Study participants who weight-trained three times per week decreased their pain by 63% compared to participants who did cardio only and reduced their pain by 6%. Resistance training targets both upper and lower body muscles, whereas cardio targets mainly lower-body muscles. You should continue with some cardio to avoid putting on unwanted bodyfat during recovery from injury, and do whatever strength training exercises you can handle with poundage that will not make your injury worse. You do not want to overdo it to find yourself sidelined and out of the gym indefinitely.

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Taking Protein Before Training Burns Fat

Most people don’t think of protein for pre-workout use. However, having a serving of protein before exercise increases your metabolic rate and burns more calories. A study published in 2010 in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine) showed whey protein taken 20 minutes prior to weight training increased energy expenditure significantly more than the intake of carbohydrates.