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How Should Your Body Feel After a Session?


Hi everyone,

First of all this is my first post!!! My question is, how should your body feel after a strength training session. Recently I hired a personal trainer (even though I'm recently qualified myself) because I work in a gym and find myself doing lots of classes, spin, conditioning, boxercise ect which is great for my cardio fitness and endurance training... but its not going to get me ripped like Zuzanna Light!

Also I eat what I like... which works against me (I love Chocolate flapjack!). So my PT was hired to get me my results, he has changed my diet and put me on a strength/hypertrophy route to lean up and clean up!

I did my first session yesterday solo and after the session felt like I hadnt worked hard enough, even though I failed on a few sets like he told me to expect and my final set of everything was really tough! I don't know if its because I'm use to that feeling of cardiovascular exhaustion, and when Ive been doing weights previously I can feel my muscles fatigueing because its been more endurance.

Ive woke up today with a few aches in my lower back and traps but in general don't have any DOMS. Is this normal? I left the gym full of energy..... but then I got home and slept for 2 hours! I don't understand?!?!

Can you please post and let me know if what I'm feeling is normal and if you have had similar experiences?

I look forward to hearing from you all, the first step to the body of a warrior!!! :wink:


Welcome! Don't forget there is a neurological adaptation that has to take place...not just muscular. First and for most, when you start training with progressively heavier weights you must condition your nervous system to handle the weight. And then you start training your body to recruit more muscle fibers with each lift. At this point, you are giving your body an entirely new stimulus, so these adaptations take some time. I assure you, you have a bright future full of plenty of DOMS if you are so willing to push yourself!

This whole internal skepticism of "did I do enough?" and feeling like you didn't really do anything is completely normal when you start strength training.

Nice avi =)


Hey Bex,

I'll open a can of worms here and say that 90% of what people do in the gym is totally useless. People seem to pay pennance for their "sins" through exercise, going for a subjective feeling of exhaustion more than an objective goal. The more beat up they feel afterwards the better it was. It's sick, really.

I can tell you that my best results come from the sessions where I leave the gym feeling refreshed and better than when I entered. For a strength program, what you're describing sounds just about ideal. You should know that your body was placed under stress, but you shouldn't feel exhausted at all. DOMS is a lousy way to judge a workout.

I think your trainer might just know what he/she is doing! Ultimately, you won't know the answer to your question until you start seeing the kilos added on the bar. In the meantime, have faith in your program, follow it to the letter, and don't fret. You'll do fine. :slightly_smiling:


DOMS is kinda individual. Some people get it more than others. And when you're just starting out, you're physically unable to put "full" strain on the muscles because it takes a while to learn the movements. Also, since you're in good cardio shape, your recovery rate is probably pretty high.

The only thing that you should be looking at is that your weights keep moving up. Your physique will follow.


As a beginner i would add that DOMS is almost completely random for me, sometimes does happen, often doesn,t. What does happen is that after a workout and some high gi carbs i often have a couple of hours racked out on the sofa and feel much better for it.


I absolutely agree.

DOMS usually happens for me in the higher rep ranges, as does the exhausted feeling. When I'm hitting heavy doubles or triples, I usually leave the gym feeling awesome.

If you leave the gym feeling amped and ready to tear some shit up, you did it right.


Wow! I didn't expect so many responses so soon. Thank-you so much for all your advice and experience, I feel loads better about it now. My trainer mentioned the neurological changes my body has to go through so I'm glad were all on the same page. I have faith!

I'm very excited for my session tomorrow now!!!

Bex xxx