Exercise! - Soreness After Workouts -- A gauge?

12-17-2010, 12:12 AM
So, I just started taking a Spin class last week and find it incredibly difficult. I've managed to keep up with the class so far, even though I feel like puking towards the end. The hardest part for me wasn't the class itself but being so sore afterwards I could hardly move.

The first class caused me so much pain that I could hardly move my legs at all for about 4 days. When I was done, my legs felt wobbly like jello. I didn't warm up before or stretch after. The second class I took was twice as long and I worked much harder in it. But, I haven't been as sore afterwards. This time, I did a longer workout, but warmed up first and stretched before and after.

I'm wondering if it's the stretching I tried or if I didn't work as hard as I thought I did. I don't recall ever sweating so much in a workout before this.

What have you all found as ways to minimize muscle pain after a workout? Does lessened muscle pain always equal less progress or effectiveness?

12-17-2010, 10:32 AM
Less muscle pain means your body is adjusting. As a general rule, you shouldn't feel muscle pain. Only when switching activities (doing something you haven't done in a long time or ever) or stepping up to a new level. If we all felt sore all the time, I doubt many people would be exercising regularly.

12-17-2010, 10:40 AM
Im a regular spinner and that pain lasted a few weeks for me. A good instructor will work your muscles in a different way with each class, so you may get sore from class on occasion even after you've grown accustomed to it, but nothing like you experienced after that first session.

Does the instructor cool you down? We don't generally stretch prior to class as a class, but many of us do it on our own. However our instructors always cool us down and go through a stretch routine after class.

Keep with it! Go at your own pace and don't burn out. There's plenty of time to build yourself up to a level that is on par with the more seasoned riders. You can work at your own pace by adjusting resistance down and by spinning a bit slower or "sitting out" a song and just spinning.

12-17-2010, 08:45 PM
pageta -- Good to know this is only an occasional pain! :)

Eliana -- Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. Those first few days, I thought it would never stop hurting. Good to know that this changes with experience and practice. I don't mind being sore, if I know it's doing me some good, but I'm hopeful that I can understand what brings it on and what to do about it.

The instructor does warm us up and cool us down in the class itself, but we don't stretch as a class either before or after. Most of the girls tend to stretch afterwards on their own, though, but I don't really know much about fitness and didn't have an idea of what I should do. When I wasn't doing so, the instructor mentioned to me that I should and gave me some stretching tips. So, I managed about ten minutes or so afterwards.

I've been trying to keep up with the whole workout as a way to condition myself to work harder. There's no way I can work as fast or as elegantly as the very fit pole dancers in my class considering that I am substantially overweight, but I try to keep up as much as I can just so that I know I'm trying hard. I find that it's too easy to make excuses for myself and just workout easily. That is, when I'm on a treadmill, I will often not push myself to work harder than I have been or when I'm on an elliptical, I won't change up my pace enough. I'm not methodical about these things -- not because I'm lazy, but because I'm not proficient enough to know what I'm doing. So, I'm trying to trust the instructor. :) I did have to slow down a few times just to catch my breath, though. :) I'm hoping to avoid burnout. It's still novel enough to be exciting for me and I find that I'm looking forward to my next class!

What did you do during the few weeks that you felt a lot of pain? Some people say massages are good, but I didn't think it helped; my hubby tried to give me a leg massage but even touching my legs with any pressure felt excruciating. I did find that hot baths helped through the duration of the submersion. Tylenol didn't. Sleep did.

Are you usually tired for a while after your spin classes?