Last year I took a break from lifting (it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be). Boy, was my body happy! I focused most of that time on yoga and low-impact activity. Reducing muscle soreness was just not a big deal last year, until I decided to go back to lifting.
But first, the reason for the break:
My body just wasn’t recovering as quickly. I was tired all the time. And I had chronic inflammation.
Naturally, when I went back to lifting last month, I was sore for a few days after that first workout and frankly a little nervous that I would never get back to be as strong as before.
Luckily, I was wrong. I lost a little strength but in a matter of weeks I was back in the game.
With the help of the following list of supplements to my diet and lifestyle, I have been free from the dreaded soreness and inflammation.
Here is what I’ve been doing:
- Caffeine – Multiple studies show that caffeine has the ability to turn off pain-receptors, allowing you to recover faster and reduce the soreness. In one of the studies it showed that soreness was reduced by 48% in people who drank coffee prior to working out. Although I haven’t been drinking coffee before my workouts, (due to some anxiety attacks I was experiencing) I switched to Green Tea and it has been working just fine.
- BCAA’s – This supplement (branch chain amino acids) is naturally found in food but is amazing for reducing DOMS, increasing muscle growth and recovery. I noticed pretty quickly after I started using this supplement that no matter how intense my workout the next day I still felt very minimal soreness.
- Biofreeze- This is one of my favorite ways to recover a “tweaked” muscle right after a workout. This is a portable chemical application that cools the muscle down and acts as an “ice” therapy. I like to keep a tube of it in my bag — just in case.
- Sports Massage– Obviously I can’t leave this one out! Finally the research is in. A 2014 study stated that sports massages post workout can reduce pain and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In fact a later study in 2015 showed that people who get massages have more blood vessels than those who don’t and that helps with faster recovery.
There you have it, my secret to getting back to the gym and lifting as heavy as ever– without the soreness. I would love to hear what you do to reduce soreness from training. Leave your comments below!