Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Part of going back to the gym is knowing that now and again you will wind up sore the next day. Especially if you go down the path to muscle failure. I forget which Weider principle this is -- and surely is it one of them, 'cause there is the Weider Everything Else I Forgot to Mention By Specific Name Principle -- a joke only appreciated by iron pumpers who've read the Joe Weider bodybuilding zines.

Basically, the exercise about which I am talking involves doing descending reps of something until you can't do any more. 

Take chins, for instance. Suppose you can do a dozen reps in good form. 

So do that.

Wait a few seconds, catch your breath, then do another set. Chances are, you won't get twelve reps, but you might get nine or ten. 

Wait a few seconds, then do another set, as many as you can.

Keep on doing this until you get to the point where you can't do a single rep. Where you can't do anything but hang there twitching.

You're done. Move along. 

I don't do this often, since it cranks up the lactic acids and cooks me real good for the next day or two, but now and then, the madness takes me ...

(It's not, as you might think, the most exhausting pumping exercise -- eccentric reps are. These involve a training partner who helps you hoist more weight than you can on your own, which you then lower. You can lower more weight than you can lift. Doing this doesn't take long to achieve the burn, and it's the molten lava kind of burn. This is one you do infrequently. Maybe every twenty years or so ...)

Here's the thing: Last trip to the gym, I decided to do sets of descending reps to failure in a couple of exercises. Which I did.

However, even though I was exhausted, come the next day, I wasn't sore. No muscle aches, no lactic acid build-up enough so I noticed. 

I'm not sure what this means. If it's a good witch or a bad witch ...

(By the by, that's not a Photoshopped picture. The guy -- sometimes called The Man Whose Arms Exploded -- is Gregg Valentino, a fellow who injected steroids every place he could reach, along with God knows what else, and who nearly killed himself doing it. Gives new meaning to the term freakish when applied to bodybuilders ...)


Joshkie said...

I'm going to say good witch.
What was your after workout meal and general nutrition like? In my experience the building blocks you put in after a workout have more to do with mucle soreness and fatigue than the intensity of the workout.
Just a thought

Joshkie said...

Second to last sentance should read: do with mucle soreness and fatigue >recovery< than the intensity of the workout.
Sigh my brain I hate it when it skips over words.

Jason said...

Wait until tomorrow... :D

It is called "Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness", in typical medical silliness, and happens with workouts sometimes. Just means the full muscle soreness doesn't hit you until the 2nd day ofter the workout.

and it usually hits harder. :D

not always though, maybe your system was just ready for the workout. You'll only know for sure tomorrow.

Steve Perry said...

Yep, I know about the second-day business; in this case, that didn't happen either.

We'll see what happens next time.

Only change in anything I can see is that I've cut way back on sugar, and I can't see why that would make a difference.

Jim said...

Actually... sounds like you probably had a couple things going on. Your body is settling back into the workout routine, and adapting faster. And you probably did enough afterwards or in total that you flushed out the serious lactic acid... I've often found that even a few minutes (OK, 10 to 20) of cardio work like an elliptical after a hard workout will reduce or eliminate the soreness. Even 5 minutes will help... I'm not talking burnout/high intensity cardio, but just enough to re-raise the body temp and heart rate (maybe 15 to 20 percent over baseline) and get the blood really flowing through the body...

Like I said -- adaptation also figures into it. When I get in a regular routine, and stick to it, after a while, it's really hard to get back to that barely able to move sore feeling that I got at the start. Unless I really mix up the workout, and do something really intense, in a way that I've not done it before.