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Soreness: It Feels so Good...What Causes Those Sore Tight Muscles?

By Emilie "Flo" Hester, CPT & Larry N. Smith, MD, CPT

When you work-out you burn sugar (glucose) and Fatty Acids. During certain times in your training cycle at the beginning or later during High Intensity Interval Training or Cycle Classes, you will experience periods of anaerobic oxidation where the body cannot completely oxidize glucose. So instead of pushing the glucose molecules into the Krebs Cycle (Oxidative Phosphorylation) the cells shift the Glucose fragments into the anaerobic pathway and create Lactic Acid. Lactic acid is what makes muscles sore and tight the next day or so.



If you are just returning to exercising, you will experience this delayed 24 to 72 hour onset of soreness after working out. As your body becomes more conditioned this post exercise soreness will eventually go away because your Cardio-Vascular system is able to supply oxygen to the cells and the cells will have become efficient to utilizing the oxygen. That's when you know you conditioning level is improving.



Even with improved conditioning, if you exercise intensely (Greater than 75% of your calculated maximum heart rate) you will experience episodes of anaerobic oxidation. So, the next day or so you will be tight and sore. This is what you should be doing. Training in your most efficient metabolic window (65% to 75% of Maximum Heart rate) known also as T-1 level burns fat and promotes weight loss. Pushing yourself to exercise above 75% of your max heart rate puts you into your T-2 zone. At this level you are pushing your cardio-vascular system to provide the needed oxygen to all the exercising oxygen demanding cells. You are short of breath, unable to carry on a conversation or hardly speak. Compared to the T-1 level where you can exercise hard but still speak with some shortness of breath. Its these burst of intensity into the T-2 range that promotes increased conditioning and stamina. The down side is some soreness in the muscles.

To help mitigate this soreness it is important to roll your muscles with foam or hard rollers after your workout. Stretching and working the muscle after (massage or stretching) helps the muscles to peruse and remove the lactic acid. Although no modality is perfect in preventing soreness these do help reduce the symptoms.

If you are having issues with tight and sore muscles drop by FloMotion Fitness. We will work with you to release those muscles and mobilize that lactic acid. The newest member of our team specializes in stretching and releasing those tight muscles. So call (352-222-7078) Flo or drop by schedule a session. You wont regret it.


Team FloMo

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