The hammer effect
It’s Wednesday morning and the alarms just gone off – Another one of my favourite songs ruined.
Herself is kindly taking care of breakfast this morning so I haven’t got up yet and I’ve decided to bang out a blog post on something very topical.
Last night I couldn’t sleep the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) was that bad.
Seriously I could not move. Worst case ever personally.
I hobbled around yesterday like I was beaten with a lump hammer and last night and this morning are on a whole new level of pain.
Why are they so bad?
Partly rookie errors that shouldn’t happen…
(Ah sure it’ll be grand attitude)
Partly due to lifestyle and time restraints.
Basically I made a complete balls of the session and I’m paying for it, so here are the factors that contributed to the extreme soreness.
You see with the training camp in Spain and work just prior to it, it’s been a total of 10 days since I made the gym.
Although I done a little strength work at the camp it wasn’t enough.
No fault of my own we just had far too much fatigue on board to even consider it.
So that session on Sunday was like session one all over again.
I literally can’t move today, siting on a chair is an issue and I’ll not start about the toilet.
1. So lesson one – don’t over train!
You need to do enough to create a stimulus to adapt, that’s it!
Doing too much is a thing! Find that line.
In hindsight a 10-day hiatus from strength training is substantial and you shouldn’t just hop back in and smash it where you left off. Damn ego.
I start drinking protein or a branched chain amino acid mixture towards the back end of every gym session but this week I had none left. The Mrs smashed the last few scoops while I was away so I was without it on Sunday – another contributing factor to ‘the hammer effect’.
A meal containing both protein and carbohydrates rapid after exercising helps to repair muscle damage and also replenishes glycogen after a hard session, ensuring you get the fuel required for repair and replenishment necessary for recovery and optimal adaptations to training.
I try not eat too much after my dinner in the evenings and that’s my own personal preference. If I do get hungry late at night or if I don’t want to go to bed feeling a bit hungry I’ll have a protein shake before bed (ideally casein) for its slow release qualities.
Note this is a ‘protein drink’ – not a protein ‘recovery’ drink – they are full of carbs.
3. Stretching and foam rolling
I ran out the door following the core sequence as we were headed to a birthday party that evening. As a result I didn’t get to adequately cool down, foam roll or stretch.
This process does help alleviate muscle stiffness and while it may not have massive amounts of conclusive science behind them (In my opinion due to methodology and result reporting issues) I believe they work.
The quicker you bring your body back to its rested state the quicker the recovery process can begin.
So spend your time warming down, followed by a foam roll and some relaxing stretches.
Heading to a party that night I decided to have a few glasses of wine.
Look a glass here or there or the occasional few beers wont kill anyone but after a hard day training alcohol will interfere with the recovery process.
So if you’re going to go on a session don’t ruin a pivotal days training by lowering down a hape of pints afterwards because you won’t get the desired adaptations.
While I didn’t plan on drinking so I could drive home that went out the window when everyone at dinner started talking rubbish.
That meant we stayed at a friends house – queue a shit nights sleep.
Again compromising recovery and not optimising adaptations.
On a flip side of all this, I’m not going to die.
I could have made the last few days a bit easier on myself, but sure look, sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t always be a monk.
As you can see I should know a lot better but I still make the silly mistakes!
I deserved a bout of horrific DOMS for being so stupid.
I’m back in the gym Friday so hopefully the legs are better by then.