T Nation

The Pain...


I started my training this week. In hopes of more muscle gain, and development on my frame. I noticed my strength isnt what it used to be, seeing as it has been a while since I have last did weight training. Little discouraging yet I am not turned off, only turned on more to the idea that I want this more and more! I know muscle recovery for me can be a bit slower, and I am spliting my workouts different days like most. Chest and arms, back and shoulders, Legs and abs (I do abs everyday as well)

What I want to know is, that I found myself having to take like a 3 day break inbetween my last arm workout I guess because I am not used to it. Is this ok? If my arms hurt (which they do, especially when I extend them out fully) should I be trying to keep up with my scheduale and do the workout? I believe my muscle is repairing...I'm not sure what to do.


Rest. If its your first week, there is no need to push yourself. That's why most programs have an "introductory" week to get your muscles (and CNS) up to speed.

Listen to your body, and don't push it (yet!).


There are varying opinions on what you should do in that situation... Some people will tell you to keep on schedule no matter what, and some people will tell you that if you're sore at all then don't work out. For myself I've found it's best to look at things on a case-by-case basis. You know the difference between the pain of being hurt and the soreness of hard workout. If you're actually hurt, don't lift. Take some time to recover. See a doctor if you need to.

On the other hand, if you're just sore, definitely go ahead and hit the gym. You may want to limit the weight you use to less than what you normally would use, but I've found that workout out when I'm still a little sore usually helps increase the bloodflow to the area and speed recovery. I hope that helps you in your particular situation.



Yeah, that's fairly simple. If your muscle is sore from its previous workout, that means it's still 'broken down' from that workout, and is in the process of repairing itself.

A general recommendation is to not train a muscle group if it's still sore from the previous workout.

That being said, if the soreness persists for more than, say, 3 days, you might be overdoing it just a little bit for your current level of training...


Read Chad Waterburys' branding iron Q & A column, I think its either the oldest or second oldest if i find the link i'll PM you. It has a good grade for soreness, as well as other useful tips. A rough guide is 1. Soreness when tensed hard, this is fine to train through
2. Soreness noticeable with movement of the muscle, this can be trained through for a short while (few weeks)
3. Extreme soreness at all times, this shouldn't be trained through
But as with anything these are rough guides, and it all comes down to how you feel before each workout. If your performance suffers for a while with no improvement then change the intensity. Hope this helps.


Remember that your abs are made of the same stuff as all of your other muscles. They need to recover as well.


yes if you are THAT sore take some time off, let yourself get use to lifting again, you cant expect your body to be able to handle a drastic change like that overnight ( at least not very well)

it will probably be a good week before your arms stop hurting 100% but that doesnt mean you have to wait a week to hit them again, just play it by ear


Ok I did some arms tonight...curls and kickbacks...all I could do...only on the 15lbs but I know strength will come. Still pretty much following my diet posted on my very first thread. Have let anything un pure, processed, etc hit my stomach for about a week. All natural baby. From the grains to the PB, to the meat, etc. I'm in for the long hall but I WANT IT!!!


Um,I dont know if anyone caught this but your arms might take so long since you working chest and arms,then back and shoulders........that's 4 groups very close together that use your arms.Try doing chest+abs,back+shoulders,legs+arms

that should help.Just my input.


Why'd you pick that particular split?

I'd wager that a solid full-body program 3 times per week, working mostly compound movements, would be great for you. Also, what are you doing for abs? Read some of the Mike Robertson articles on core training. Make sure you're not overtraining, either. It's great that you're gung-ho and want to push through the pain, but you have to recover to make any progress and be in this for the long haul.


if your so sore that its pretty painful dont workout. its fine to work through a little soreness though


Whenever I come back to a particular exercise (or muscle group) after having not worked it for a long time, I usually find that it gets really sore for the next few days. For example, I had jumped on the "Squats GOOD, Bench Press BAD" bandwagon a little while back and totally neglected benching for a few months. When I started benching again, my pecs were painfully sore for many days.

Back then, I just gave my muscles a few days of extra rest. Within a few weeks, I was able to bench regularly, at the load that previously caused painful soreness, without all the soreness. I think sometimes it just takes your muscles a little while to "remember" how to work under a heavy load.


i just took 4 days off cuz i felt like being lazy and my schedule didn't coincide with my roommate's schedule. and hey, guess what, the pain in my left elbow and right shoulder were non-existent today. or maybe it was since i did decline dumbell rather than barbell. anywho, the moral of the story is that a little rest goes a long way. i'd stick to basic compound lifts to get your nervous system revvv'd up. good luck.


did you recently decide to swich to smaller weights for higher reps? i can tell you ive done that and it hurts like hell to have that feeling, its like you almost tore the muscles in your arms and you cant extend them very far without first streching them very slowly. and they get so shocked by this that they take a week to recover from. if thats what you did, then i feel your pain hehe