T Nation

Muscle Soreness

I was wondering what people’s opinions are on working out even if you have residual soreness from the last workout. I try to train each body part 3 times a week, but sometimes after just one day of rest I am still sore. Especially my legs since often on the day off I do some cardio. Is it more effective to take 72 hours off rather than 48?

Thanks.

You can work every body part every day if you want to. It’s usually better to vary rep/set scheme’s, angles, movements, etc., if you do. The key is having a recovered CNS, rather than no muscle soreness.

I’ve found that working out while sore (that is, DOMS) will actually eliminate the soreness for me. Don’t know why.

I’ve always liked being just a LITTLE sore. Not like the first week back after a long hiatus, but where you feel it when you poke on your muscle or flex. It’s probably a carry-over from when I started lifting and got the “that’s your muscles telling you they are growing” advice from the big guys at the gym that press " 'bout 4 hunnert".

Any time that I hit a body part when it’s still sore, it seems to work out the soreness (with the exception of the overly intense workouts that I probably overdid it on).

However, as I understand you, you are only taking a day off per body part. This doesn’t seem like you are giving your muscles time to recover and grow. Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but I’d give at least a couple of days of recovery between hitting any body part so that your muscles have adequate recovery time.
Just my 2 cents.

[quote]mj1 wrote:
I was wondering what people’s opinions are on working out even if you have residual soreness from the last workout. I try to train each body part 3 times a week, but sometimes after just one day of rest I am still sore. Especially my legs since often on the day off I do some cardio. Is it more effective to take 72 hours off rather than 48?

Thanks.[/quote]

Work through soreness, and after a few weeks it should be gone, as your work capacity improves. And, in general, doing light workouts should help with recovery. It was not clear to me from your post does the cardio on off days help or makes matters worse.

If soreness persists, esp. in one specific body part (like hamstrings), it may be a sign of some kind of imbalance, so that body part is actually forced to do more than it should. In my case, hamstrings used to be sore all the time, but I managed to “cure” them thanks to Get Your Butt In Gear series. Pelvic Raises and similar stuff for a while did the trick.

It depends on how the soreness manifests itself. If it is mild, general soreness of the muscle, you can work it again. However, if it is a deep soreness that hurts even if you don’t touch the muscle, let it rest another day or so. The key is to not overtrain a muscle, which is easy to do if you train while still sore.

How much is overtraining? I have read that after 48 hours you stop building up muscle and you need to train them again. I have also read that you should only workout each body part 2 times a week. Which is correct? Also, how much cardio is too much?

Thanks!