One of the most common misconceptions we see and hear from our clients each day stems around one topic: what should you do when you are sore? Given that we’re lifting weights, running hard, and doing loads of body weight movements, you are going to be sore when you join a CrossFit gym. Over time you start to actually really crave this feeling – because it is a sign of pushing past your limits – but at the start it can be scary to have a particular part of your body hurt after working out. So, what should you do when you are sore?
The WORST thing you can do with soreness
I will write this in all caps to emphasize the point: DO NOT SIT AROUND ALL DAY WHEN YOU ARE SORE.
The worst thing you can possibly do when you’re sore is spend the next 48 hours pinned to your couch watching Netflix. We’ve talked before about how important blood flow is for recovery – and sitting around all day is not going to encourage blood flow through your system.
If at all possible, get up and come back to your gym. Tell your coach that you have some discomfort in a particular area and if that coach is good they will give you some recommendations for making a good decision in terms of how hard you will workout. Also, if your CrossFit box has any skill in programming, you’re not going to be focusing on that body part again the next day, anyway.
How do you know if you’re sore or injured?
Sometimes we’ve heard people mention a pulled or strained muscle when all they actually have is a very tight muscle group. Remember, when you workout your muscles develop very small tears. As these heal, your muscles will feel tight – almost shorter than usual. This is not an injury. It is soreness.
Before you make an unnecessary trip to your doctor, go back to your coaches and explain what is going on. Nine times out of ten they will have seen this many times before and have an idea of how to help you get back to 100%.
Of course if your coach takes a look and cannot solve the challenge, they’ll point you toward a medical professional to get you the help you need. But you’re paying your CrossFit gym staff already – give us a chance to help you before sending you to another spot.
So, I’m sore…what do I do?
If you wake up feeling sore/injured, go to your CrossFit/other gym. Tell your coach what is going on, and get their recommendation for a solution. Nine times out of ten we’ll be able to help you on the spot – and if we can’t, we’ll certainly point you in the right direction to get you back to 100%. Almost every time it is a case of soreness mistaken for an injury and simply needs moderate movement to feel better.