Weight and Resistance Training - Question that you have been asked a million times.

03-09-2009, 07:55 PM
I apologize in advance for asking a question I am sure you have heard ten thousand times by now, but I just can't help myself.

I had a session with a personal trainer on Thursday and I slightly overdid it. (not his fault, I succumbed to pride. :lol: ) Anyway, aside from being in agony for three days (I am feeling much less sore today) I have gained FIVE pounds. I know this is water weight from overdoing it... right? I am not usually one to freak out... but this seems like a lot and it's not going away.

I have not veered from my eating plan, and I have been drowning in water. :dizzy:

Please tell me this has happened to someone else and that I should not freak out.

Peace, Heather

03-09-2009, 08:59 PM
Calm down....5 pounds is a lot- you must have really been working hard. I'm not surprised you were in agony for 3 days! If your muscles aren't used to the workout, it's perfectly normal. You are causing micro tears in the muscle when you tax them, and the repair process is what makes them stronger. While healing, they do retain water. I'm usually up a pound or two after a heavy leg workout. It will go away, and your body will get used to the whole idea.

There's a saying: leave your pride at the gym door. I'm also guilty of ignoring that and have paid the price in injuries. Working hard is great! but not to the point of injury :dizzy:

You'll be fine :)


03-09-2009, 10:59 PM
Maybe you've been drinking alot more water than is normal for you too and so you are also fully hydrated? Maybe the two combined is giving you 5.

03-09-2009, 11:11 PM
That happens to me all the time when I'm sore. It is not at all unusual for me to retain several lbs of water when my muscles are sore. In fact, sometimes it happens when I'm not sore, but I've just managed to let myself get a little dehydrated. It can take several days to over a week before my body releases the water.

So long as your eating has been on plan, you know it isn't fat. I can guarantee you that exercise doesn't make you put on fat unless you suddenly start eating a lot more. And then it's the eating, not the exercise, that is the problem. And to gain 5 lbs of fat, you would have had to eat 17,500 calories above your maintenance level. It doesn't sound like eating has been a problem, so the weight isn't fat. And if only you'd managed to gain 5 lbs of muscle with one workout--that would be great, but, sorry to say, that's not really possible either. So it's not muscle. Which means it's just water. Give it a week and it will go away (unless you do something else in the interim to cause more water retention).

03-09-2009, 11:20 PM
Thanks for all the encouragement. I knew it wasn't fat, but it was such a huge leap, that it freaked me out a little.nn:o

I did learn my lesson about trying to do too much. I will check my ego at the door from now on, and LISTEN to my trainer. I never want to feel that sore again. I mean, I can handle sore, stiff muscles, but it was over the top!

I went to hot yoga tonight, and felt like I sweat way more than usual. (or, maybe wishful thinking...:dizzy:) I will not despair.

Thanks for the help. I am Zen now, I promise.

Peace, Heather

Edited to add: Nice dancer's pose, sportmom!

03-11-2009, 04:28 AM
How did the session with your trainer go (other than trying to do too much and getting really sore)? I remember you were worried about it.

Thighs Be Gone
03-11-2009, 07:15 AM
I have read this is very normal when you have sore muscles. Your muscles fill with water as part of the repairation process. So--if you had a couple of pounds of water retained from the workout--added to normal fluctuations that happen to all of us, I wouldn't worry whatsoever. If you have been staying on plan eating wise, I don't care one iota what that scale says--you are still headed in the right direction.

03-11-2009, 12:27 PM
This thread has helped put my mind at ease the last couple of days. Since I gave up most of my caffeine and switch up my BFL exercises, I've gained 5 pounds. But oddly enough, my pants are falling off even worse than last week. I refuse to worry about it. I know what I'm doing is great for my body, and I'm going to ignore the scale for now.

03-11-2009, 01:21 PM
I'll put in another "me too" on the water weight gain. When I first started lifting, and I've never been smart enough to go easy, lol, it was typical for me to put on 5-7 lbs after a full body lifting workout. After switching to splits, and with time, it was less, like 2 lbs, but yeah, totally normal. If you're painfully sore for 3 days straight, I'd agree you're overdoing it, but I admire your grit and enthusiasm! Take it a little easier next time, and if you see a few pounds on the scale, consider that your confirmation that you are working hard. Sore is good, like where you feel a little bruised and beat up, but not crippled.

One thing that can help relieve the pain a bit and keep things loose is rubbing alcohol. Take a hot shower, which also helps, then hit the sore spots with some rubbing alcohol, massage it in. You can use the stronger stuff if you don't have the rubbing alcohol, but rubbing alcohol is cheap and less harsh on the skin with repeated use. I do this after a workout, then again right before bed. It really helps the muscle relax so it's not overreacting to the damage with a cramping response.

When we get a bruised or torn muscle, as we do in lifting, the body's natural protective mechanism is to clamp that muscle tight, to protect those torn fibers. However, this is painful, so we end up pulling other things out of whack, like our spines or connective tissues, in response to the pain of that "knot" in the muscle, which can lead to other pains, and the cycle can go on for a while. The rubbing alcohol relieves the pain a bit and also is a mild muscle relaxer, which actually helps that spot to heal faster, plus we're not pulling other things out of line in reaction to one sore/tight spot.

This is pretty common therapy in animal sports medicine, but for some reason, it seems virtually unknown to human athletes. Different worlds, I guess, but it really works!

03-11-2009, 07:09 PM
Hi ladies,

Thanks for all your support. I definitely overdid it on the first day, but I am happy to report that I lifted again yesterday and I feel much better. I am still sore, mind you, but in the right way. In a manageable way. :lol: Also, the weight magically disappeared Monday night after my hot yoga session.... so I am superstitiously deciding that hot yoga is the cure for excessive water retention. Another reason to keep it in my routine.

The trainer was great. A bit goofy and funny. Exactly what I need to feel comfortable. (also cute... but probably all of 22 years old - so I feel like a dirty old woman. :D ) He was quite knowledgeable and helpful. Also, I am sharing him with my friend, so she was with me at our session. That definitely helped my anxiety level stay under control. I am generally quite anxious about new things, but those fears are usually unfounded. (I know this, but I can't help being nervous... lots of childhood trauma here. :dizzy:)

jamsk8r, I didn't know about rubbing alcohol. I will definitely have to try that next time my pride gets the better of me. :devil:

Well, off to cardio.

Peace, Heather

03-11-2009, 07:21 PM
Heather, that's great! Enjoy your sessions ;)