Oh, the DOMS.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. You’ve become a familiar friend. And I say friend because I embrace you! It means I’ve trained my muscles well, just enough to feel sore for a day or so. That means progress! (Interesting that it’s always my triceps and my hamstrings that complain the most.) On to the foam roller, yoga therapy balls, stretching, self massage, Epsom baths, massage therapy – these are also my friends. If you’d like some direction on foam rolling and stretching, please see my videos on YouTube (sandyfitjourney). https://youtu.be/VrKNYa5WWCU
Secret to anonymity at the gym: Wear a baseball cap. And ear buds. No-one talks to you, no eye contact, it’s great! Especially good if you’re near that person who’s wearing the same workout gear from yesterday, you know what I mean.However, if someone tries to take your bench or steal your weights, then you square and stare them in the eye . . . they’ll usually back down. Gym culture: familiar and not a friend.
Tips for the Gym
- Go mid-morning or mid-afternoon
- Bring a small towel to lay on the bench under your back/head
- Keep a record of your workouts. If you can, plan them ahead of time, including a warm-up and cool-down. Know that you may have to modify based on equipment availability
- Pick a mini-circuit of 3 exercises in the same area, ie grab a bench and use it for Bent Over Row, Chest Press, Shoulder Press, rotate thru them. Or you can do pyramid sets (20 reps light, 12 reps medium, 8 reps heavy). Or find a leg circuit with machines: Quad Extension, Ham Curl, Glute Press, same thing.
- Try something new each time. Incorporate 10 minutes in your workout plan to try a new machine or use the bar bells/BOSU/etc.
- Wash your hands before you leave, and do so again when you get home.
I did one session with a Strength Coach (read: big, burly guy who knows every nuance to hypertrophy). He was very good at his craft, I learned a few things, and oh boy, was I sore. It was a total quad-centric workout (squats, lunges, squats, lunges, etc). Not a fan, being sore for 4 days was too much. Interesting conversation too, because when it came up that I’m a distance runner, he said ‘that’s stupid’. And proceeded to claim I was damaging my joints, stressing my body, etc. I decided not to rise to the bait. I don’t want to look big like him – he doesn’t want to look lean like me.
My eight weeks are done, but I’m not! My first deadline for videos is in 2 weeks, so now I really need to focus on eating clean, getting enough sleep, and continue the weight lifting. I’ll let you know my results in terms of % muscle, % body fat, and weight, as I get closer to that date! It’s all moving in the right direction: I feel lean, strong, energized, grounded and somehow lighter in spirit!