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You have trained hard and really worked yourself out, because you naturally want to see quick results. But the first thing you feel is a really strong sore muscle. Oh dear, have you done everything wrong now? Aching muscles is a bad sign, isn't it? - Let's take a look at the biggest myths about sore muscles and regeneration.
No, not at all. Rather, sore muscles are a sign that you have trained hard. And that is a good thing. You have set a new training stimulus. You have been training longer, faster or harder than usual and have subjected your muscles to an unusual strain. Your body reacts with sore muscles.
When the muscle soreness sets in, the body is busy repairing the minor damage. All damaged muscles are "healed" and new muscles are added. This muscle build-up enables you to withstand a higher level of stress in the future.
So do not be afraid of sore muscles. Sore muscles are not dangerous. You do not have to fear permanent damage. Once the muscle soreness is over, you will be more resilient and stronger than before. Assuming you take sufficient care of yourself and support your body with the right regeneration.
Regeneration is the key to your training success. Only if you allow your body enough rest and sufficient sleep after a demanding training session can it recover fundamentally from the sport. And it is only during this training-free time that the magic happens: you regain your strength, build up new muscles and lose fat.
Therefore, always plan enough rest periods and days off from sports. Give your body the energy it needs to regenerate. Avoid everyday stress, avoid hard physical work, relax with light stretching and get enough sleep. You have outgrown yourself during training - now treat yourself to a relaxing break.
As the saying goes: strength lies in calmness. And that also applies to sport. Because if you start training again too early, you will not make any progress. It is better to give your body enough time. Then it will complete the following three steps all by itself and your performance level will increase:
If you take too few breaks and start training again after step two, you will miss the supercompensation. And only in this phase does your body become better, more muscular, more powerful. Without supercompensation your performance stagnates. And all the effort and all the sore muscles would be wasted.
And how long should you pause now? - That cannot be said in general terms. It depends on many factors, such as the intensity of the training stimulus, your daily form, your fitness ... Sometimes one day's rest is enough to regenerate completely. Sometimes it takes three days or more.
Fortunately, you can tell when you are ready to start training again: Your muscles no longer hurt? Do you feel fit and rested? If so, then it's time to start with the next training session.
Well-dosed breaks make you even fitter. The right timing is everything when it comes to building muscles. Don't wait too long before the next training session. Because if you underchallenge yourself too much, you will not only stagnate in your performance, you may even lose it again. If a new training stimulus is missing within a certain period of time, you will slowly lose the newly added performance again.
Sore muscles cannot be prevented completely. But it can be minimized and easier to bear with these 6 "A"s against sore muscles:
Set new training stimuli, but adapt them to your current fitness level and increase slowly. Do not overdo it.
You can prevent sore muscles well if you are very agile and also if you train continuously. Experienced athletes rarely have sore muscles.
Provide your body with valuable and little processed food with natural, healthy ingredients every day. With your food and with food supplements you can draw energy and support the regeneration after sports. During intensive training, for example, the need for glutamine increases for faster, optimized regeneration. Amino acids are also essential for the muscles and regeneration. Creatine can increase physical performance during short-term intensive physical exercise.
Cold, colder, freezing cold: With an alternating shower or - for the very hardcore - an ice bath you support the regeneration of the muscles after training.
Is gladly recommended, but only helps a little against sore muscles. The positive side effect of warming up: you reduce the risk of injury.
With the right lifestyle, you support the regeneration of your body almost incidentally. Don't pack your day too full of appointments and training sessions and treat yourself to a little time out every now and then. A relaxed state of mind supports regeneration. Conscious breathing, meditation or going for a walk can also help to shake off stress and become relaxed.